Guernsey

Guernsey Finance 'needs extra £900,000 to be effective'

The body that promotes Guernsey's finance industry will get £900,000 of additional government funding, if the island's parliament approves.

Guernsey's Commerce and Employment Department (CED) has published a report recommending the extra money be handed out over a three-year period.

Guernsey Finance already gets £800,000 of taxpayers' money each year, while £350,000 is levied from businesses.

CED says without the money the body will only be "paying lip service".

Minister Kevin Stewart said: "China aside, opportunities are being missed in all selected markets.

"Entering markets later is more difficult, more expensive and less effective."

Benefit unclear

If approved, half the additional funding will be used to promote Guernsey's finance industry in two new markets.

The other half will be used to bolster the island's marketing efforts in the UK and EU.

The industry contributed 42% of the island's GDP in 2011, but has contracted since the global economic downturn.

Total employment fell from 7,113 in 2009 to 6,815 in 2012 - a drop of 4.2%.

The CED report - to be debated by States members at their meeting on 11 December - has been criticised by the Treasury and Resources Department.

"The Commerce and Employment Department has not attempted to quantify the direct benefit from this investment," it said.

However, it said it would support the proposed extra funding "on balance".

Fiona Le Poidevin, the chief executive of Guernsey Finance, said if current funding arrangements were not changed, Jersey Finance would be receiving five times more by 2015.

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