Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Finance Centre Chiefs in Manchester

Financiers from Gibraltar are courting Manchester businesses and investment for the first time, the Manchester Evening News reported yesterday.

A delegation from Gibraltar visited Manchester in a bid to forge better business relations. At a special event held at the city centre’s Radisson Edwardian Hotel, 60 members of the north west’s investment community attended a seminar about banking in Gibraltar, focusing on trusts and private clients.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, James Tipping, finance director for the Government of Gibraltar, said Manchester’s growing financial muscle meant it was the ideal place to hold the event. He said the visit was not aimed at taking business away from Manchester but to create an environment for reciprocal trade. He said:

For 25 years Gibraltar has been an international financial services centre. We’ve been working closely with City [of London] firms but have known for some time of the importance of the regions.

This event is a first step for us going outside of London. Manchester seemed like a logical place to host the event. It is now regarded as the second city, and Gibraltar now has direct flights to Manchester, and that’s important.

We are not looking to take business from Manchester to Gibraltar; we are looking to provide another way of doing business. Manchester is a test case to see how the seminar goes towards raising Gibraltar’s profile among financial service professionals in the region.

Mr Tipping added that Gibraltar’s particular circumstances both helped and hindered the quest to attract outside investment. He said:

What makes us different from our competitors is our EU membership. We are able to offer passporting of financial services to EU members.

Being a small jurisdiction means we can work for many years on reputation. It’s vital to us to raise our profile and underline our reputation.

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