The Channel Islands
The Channel Islands are situated in the English Channel, off the coast of France, near the Cherbourg peninsula. The two largest islands are Jersey and Guernsey. Guernsey is the main constituent of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, which also includes, amongst others, the islands of Alderney and Sark.
The Channel Islands are possessions of the Crown of England and their people consider themselves British, however they do not form part of the United Kingdom or the European Union.
The British Government is responsible for the foreign relations and external defence of the Channel Islands, however, in domestic affairs the Islands have for over eight hundred years, been self-governing, although insular legislation still depends finally for its validity upon orders made by the Sovereign in Council (Privy Council).
All of the United Kingdom clearing banks have branches in the Islands and many other banks from all over the world also have representation. There is no exchange control in Guernsey and currencies are freely transferable. The local currency is the pound sterling.
Today the States of Guernsey is responsible for domestic affairs, its economy and tax regime. Guernsey enjoys full fiscal autonomy in tax and regulatory matters. As a Crown Dependency, the Island's ties to the UK are through the Crown rather than the British Parliament, where Guernsey has no representation. The Lieutenant Governor is Her Majesty's personal representative and official channel of communication between the Crown and the UK Government and Guernsey.
Financial and Economic
All of the United Kingdom clearing banks have branches in Guernsey and many other banks from all over the world also have representation, usually by way of a Channel Islands presence.
Alderney legislation permits the establishment of regulated licensed gaming business which can afford various advantages in appropriate circumstances.
There is no exchange control and currencies are freely transferable.
The major industries in Guernsey are financial services, light industry, tourism, horticulture and agriculture.
English is the official language in the Channel Islands, having supplanted French in both commercial and legal matters during the last century.
The local currency is the pound sterling.