9 November 2015EMEA analysis

S&P affirms Guernsey’s rating at highest level

Standard & Poor’s has affirmed Guernsey’s credit rating at its highest possible level.

The AA+ (Stable outlook) rating is the highest that a jurisdiction such as Guernsey, without its own currency, can achieve under the ratings methodology.

Dominic Wheatley, chief executive of Guernsey Finance, said: “Guernsey’s strong rating is evidence of our secure financial environment, which clients and their advisers are increasingly looking for. It also reinforces the Island’s position within the mainstream of international finance.”

Standard & Poor’s said Guernsey had “a wealthy and open economy, generally strong institutional environment, and robust fiscal position based on a prudent fiscal framework and sizeable government assets.”

Guernsey’s Treasury and Resources Minister Gavin St Pier said: “This decision is a strong public affirmation of Guernsey's fiscal and economic stability and strength. It is also confirmation that the rating agency considers that Guernsey’s prosperity alongside effective and predictable policy setting justifies the highest rating that it is possible for Guernsey to obtain. Standard & Poor’s cites the robust fiscal position, with liquid assets amounting to 112% of GDP, as supporting the position.

“It is clear that Standard & Poor's is assessing its criteria in relation to 'micro-sovereign' jurisdictions, such as Guernsey, over the course of the next few months.  We will work with them in order to understand how any such technical changes might impact Guernsey's future credit ratings ahead of next year's assessment. In the meantime their decision to maintain Guernsey's credit rating at AA+ is a very positive development.”