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of banking options is limited but again, they are well regulated and benefit from hugely experienced multilingual staff. Quality is far better than quantity. Nor will opening a bank account be any easier that in other well-regulated jurisdictions. Gibraltar is in full compliance with international standards in respect of money laundering, terrorist funding and tax evasion, so the “due diligence” requirements will be just as onerous. But from a reputational perspective, that should only be regarded as a good thing. However if your business only needs access to reliable money transfer services from a segregated account, you may wish to consider an alternative. There are a number of regulated firms locally that specialise in offering web-based services, including plastic card options. This can be extremely useful if, for example, you employ an international workforce that is constantly moving around the world. This example is just one way in which Gibraltar is embracing the new world of FinTech – using new technology and innovation in the delivery of financial services in competition with traditional financial institutions and intermediaries.

A demonstration of Gibraltar’s commitment to the future saw it hosting a high level conference recently, at which economists and lawyers from all over Europe met to discuss the core innovation of the new crypto currencies.

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o what of Gibraltar’s future in a post-Brexit world? A clue, I think, can be seen in the government’s decision to fly the Commonwealth flag in public places, where today the EU standard flutters alongside those of Gibraltar and the UK. I am convinced that engaging with new friends across the world will lead to exciting new business opportunities. But where should we look to forge these new relationships? The press would have you believe that all the commercial action is now taking place in Asia – China, of course, in particular – or the Middle East. These are indeed key economic areas that any business looking at overseas expansion should consider. But I end this piece on another note. Consider Africa. Doing business across this vast continent presents many different challenges (contrary to former US vice-presidential candidate Sarah

Palin’s belief, Africa is not a single country), but you can see it clearly from Gibraltar’s Ocean Village. It’s right there in front of us. As well as the ferry to Tangiers, Gibraltar has air links to Casablanca, the busiest airport in Morocco and the fourth busiest in Africa. From there you can traverse the entire continent. So Brexit should not narrow Gibraltar’s horizons. Quite the opposite. It should broaden them. And Gibraltar is very well equipped to make the most of all the opportunities. Will we see you here too? You’d be most welcome.

By Ian Le Breton Corporate Services Director, Sovereign ilebreton@SovereignGroup.com

Sovereign Trust (Gibraltar) Limited Suite 2B 143 Main Street Gibraltar Tel: +350 200 76173 Fax: +350 200 70158

www.SovereignGroup.com

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