Guernsey is an island in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy. It lies roughly north of St Malo and to the west of the Cotentin Peninsula. With several smaller nearby islands, it forms a jurisdiction within the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a Crown dependency. The jurisdiction is made up of ten parishes on the island of Guernsey, three other inhabited islands and many small islets and rocks.
As of 2014, the finance industry forms the largest economic sector in Guernsey, generating around 40% of Guernsey’s GDP and directly employing around 21% of its workforce. Banks began setting up operations in the island from the early 1960s onwards in order to avoid high onshore taxes and restrictive regulation.
The industry regulator is the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, which was established in 1987.
Prior to the growth of the finance industry, the island’s main industries were quarrying and horticulture. The latter particularly decline as a result of the oil price shocks of the 1970s and the introduction of cheap North Sea gas that benefited Dutch growers. Guernsey is home to Specsavers Optical Group and Healthspan also has its headquarters in Guernsey.
Richest People in Guernsey
7. Roger Baines
Net Worth: £150m
Baines sold his Amtrak delivery business in 1998 for £86m. With his son Paul he bought World’s Greatest Minds, a Bath design and gift company. With other interests, Baines, 61, and family should be worth £95m.
6. Derek Coates
Net Worth: £200m
Derek Coates, 65, is chairman of Healthspan Group, the supplier of vitamins and nutritional supplements that he founded in the 1990s with just eight products.
There are now more than 150 products on offer, including the VetVits and Nurture skincare ranges. Turnover has increased from £500,000 in 1997 to £55m.