Geoff Miller of Finance for Guernsey was the guest speaker at the CGi business forum on Wednesday evening at Les Cotils.
Geoff outlined his plans for a Guernsey-owned and run high-street bank to an audience of CGi members and new and re-elected States’ Deputies.
He said the results of an on-line survey currently being undertaken would determine whether or not the new venture would be viable, but the initial responses from both individuals and companies were very positive.
Geoff explained that more than £100million in finance is required in order to start the new bank, which would offer secured lending, i.e. mortgages and asset–based finance. Its aim is to make it easier than at present for home buyers and small businesses to secure capital and investors would see a reasonable return.
He estimated that in mortgages alone, £50-60 million each year is being refused locally due to draconian compliance rules and regulations.
The meeting format then switched to an open forum, at which Larry Granger quizzed Deputies with questions posed by members r a number of topics of interest. These included the possibility of an Open Skies licensing regime, the need for extending Guernsey’s Airport runway, whether there was room for a second sea operator between the islands and the newly announced health agreement with the UK.
The CGi has rescheduled its business forum, originally pencilled in for July, to Wednesday 14th September at Les Cotils.
This provides an opportunity for CGi firms, members of the new States assembly, and senior civil servants to discuss topics that are important not only for us as a federation, but also for Guernsey in general.
Geoff Miller, the CEO of Finance for Guernsey, has also kindly agreed to join us and outline his plans for setting up a local high street bank that will offer a range of services ‘over the counter.’
The CGi strongly supports the future generation of entrepreneurs and works in partnership with a number of agencies to promote business in the Island. We are also keen to engage and continue to develop a proactive dialogue with the States.
The forum, whilst informal, is likely to be lively and productive, and takes place from 5:30pm through to 7:00pm, with light refreshments served.
Larry Granger's comments followed a meeting with the Economic Development Committee (EDC) earlier this month, at which Blue Islands’ representatives and other local bodies were present.
Prior to the meeting, Larry sought views from CGi members over the state of inter-island travel links following a sustained period of disruption.
‘The emails I am getting from CGi members paint a very negative picture. I think Economic Development realise we are in a critical situation.
When we are trying to promote businesses within Guernsey, we are not helping ourselves,’ he said.
The CGi has extended its support of coding clubs in the island’s high schools for the last three years into two primary schools – Castel and St Martin’s.
The partnership has seen teachers pick up the subject with the support of technology professionals, who lead the sessions and work with the pupils.
CGi chairman Larry Granger said the projects in the secondary and primary schools had been an outstanding success.
‘We have had more than 100 students in high schools go through the coding clubs,’ he said.
‘Digital is here to stay, these skills will be needed in the future, and we are trying to create the opportunity for young people.
‘Students in the clubs are already progressing at a challenging rate and even at their tender ages they are eager to demonstrate their achievements and showcase the school’s success.’
The primary scheme is supported by CGi member firm Fultura.