A survey of business leaders from Isle of Man based financial and professional services companies reveals confidence levels remain strong, despite global economic uncertainty and pressures facing international finance centres.
Almost three quarters (72%) of financial and professional services businesses admit they have seen a reduction in turnover since the start of the recession, but looking to the year ahead, almost three quarters (73%) of companies expect to grow over the next 12 months, a fifth (21%) expect to grow substantially. Further to these indications of growth, nine in 10 (90%) firms expect to post a profit in the next financial year.
Over half (52%) of the Island's finance companies do not see themselves taking any cost cutting measures over the next year. For those that expect to reduce outgoings over the next 12 months, it appears the focus will be on ‘people costs' with salaries (31%) and day-to-day expenses such as travel and entertainment (28%) topping the list of areas businesses will be cutting back on in the next 12 months.
Treasury Minister Allan Bell noted that the island has experienced 26 years of unbroken economic growth, and insists it is in a good position to respond to challenges. The Isle of Man is among the offshore jurisdictions on the OECD "white list" of centres offering transparency and co-operation. The Island recently received endorsements from the IMF and Foot Review and has retained its triple AAA rating from Standard&Poors.
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