FirstRand expands in Guernsey

South African banking group, FirstRand, is to open a Guernsey branch.

The Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) issued a deposit-taking licence to FirstRand’s Guernsey branch on 17 October.

The new banking operation will trade as FNB Channel Islands and will launch formally in 2015.

The bank enhances FirstRand’s presence in Guernsey as it already provides a wide range of fiduciary services through FNB International Trustees—the specialist international offshore service provider of the FirstRand Group.

FirstRand is South Africa’s largest bank by market capitalisation and this new branch will bring the total number of licensed banks in Guernsey to 31.

Fiona Le Poidevin, chief executive of Guernsey, said: “FirstRand is a welcome addition to the Guernsey banking market. The group is among the biggest financial services firms in South Africa and the fact that it has chosen Guernsey as a location for an offshore subsidiary reinforces the global and international nature of our banking industry.”

“Guernsey has enjoyed strong business links with South Africa for some time and this development is further evidence of that relationship.”

“FirstRand has had a long-standing fiduciary presence in the island and is therefore well aware of the infrastructure and expertise available in Guernsey.”

The most recently published figures from the GFSC show that the total value of deposits held by banks in Guernsey stood at £77.4 billion at the end of June 2014.