S&P Ratings for Guernsey Affirmed at ‘AA-plus’; Then Withdrawn

January 31, 2013

Standard & Poor’s on Wednesday affirmed its rating of offshore tax and banking haven Guernsey at AA-plus, but then withdrew the rating at the request of the government.

S&P did not say why Guernsey had requested that the rating be withdrawn.

In a brief statement, S&P said “Guernsey has ‘high levels of prosperity’ and a robust financial position, given there is no government debt and assets are slightly more than 100 percent of gross domestic product.”

But S&P added that “the ratings were constrained by the risks associated with being a small, open economy, the limited visibility on Guernsey’s external finances and its lack of monetary flexibility.”

Neither Moody’s Investors Service nor Fitch Ratings have a credit rating on Guernsey, an island located in the English Channel.

In conclusion S&P explained that “Guernsey, as well as the Isle of Man and Jersey, are UK ‘Crown Dependency’ jurisdictions. But their financial sectors are not regulated by the UK, allowing them to become bastions of financial secrecy.

(Reporting by Daniel Bases and Luciana Lopez; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Source: Standard & Poor’s

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