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REVIEW SUMMARY

Bourse Pension Trustees

The Bourse group of companies has been providing a range of trust, pension and company services from our offices in St Peter Port, Guernsey since 1999.

Bourse acts as a counterparty and service provider to independent tax specialists.

They provide trust, pension, bond and finance services through an integrated delivery proposition and specialise in UK referred business.

Bourse offers a number of proprietary pension schemes established under the laws of Guernsey, Malta and Gibraltar.

They also provide services in respect of other, non-proprietary schemes, where trustee and/or administration services are required.

Overview
FAQ
Customer Reviews
Expert Verdict

The Bourse Group says that they offer bespoke provision of pension administration and trustee services.

While Bourse can provide general information about its products and services, they say on their website that they cannot provide legal, tax or other professional advice. Their products reach the market through a network of financial advisers who provide the 'advice' for the people whose affairs Bourse Group administer.

They do this through their subsidiary companies, namely:

1. Bourse Trust Company Limited: 

  • Bourse Trust Company Limited provides a range of trustee products and services to individuals, families and corporate clients all over the world. 
  • Bourse Ultra is the private client arm of Bourse Trust Company Limited. Bourse Ultra provides tailored options and solutions for high-net-worth entrepreneurs and families. They claim to be able to create and manage the appropriate family office structure and “mix and match” the services required in each case.

2. Bourse Life and Pensions Limited:

Bourse Life and Pensions Limited is a company in the Bourse Group and is licensed by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission to operate as a long-term insurance company and to write bonds and unit-linked annuities.

More details about the products under this can be found in the FAQs section of this review and on Bourse Group's website. 

3. Bourse Malta:

Bourse Malta offers clients the ability to acquire yachts and aircraft by way of a Malta-based structure.

They allow for the substantial saving on the VAT which would otherwise be payable on the relevant acquisition.

Bourse Malta offers two types of structures. You can learn more about them in the FAQs section of this review.  

4. Bourse Pension Trustees Limited:

Bourse Pension Trustees Limited provides a wide range of individual and company pension products and services.

They claim to offer comprehensive, solution-orientated pension administration services to meet the growing demand for international schemes.

This wing of the Bourse Group is what we will cover in detail in this review.

NOTE: The expert verdict section of this review is specific to Bourse Pension Trustees Limited.

As mentioned above, Bourse offers a number of proprietary pension schemes established under the laws of Guernsey, Malta and Gibraltar. 

The pension services offered by Bourse Pension Trustees includes:

1. Bourse Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS):

Directed particularly at non UK residents and individuals who are about to leave the UK is the Bourse Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) available via two jurisdictions.

2. The Bourse Retirement Scheme (Malta):

  • This is a QROPS with Bourse Pension Administrators (Malta) Limited who are registered as an Administrator for Retirement Schemes with the Malta Financial Services Authority.
  • The scheme is registered in the UK with HM Revenue and Customs with number 504314.
  • There exists no statutory provision for compensation where the Scheme is unable to satisfy the liabilities attributable to it.
  • The License of the Scheme is not an endorsement by the MFSA of the Scheme’s financial performance.
3. Bourse Retirement Scheme (Gibraltar):
  • This scheme is a QROPS and is also eligible to receive transfers of UK pension rights without attracting a tax charge.
  • Bourse Retirement Scheme (Gibraltar) is registered with HMRC reference QROPS 900051.

Bourse also offer Qualifying Non UK Pension Schemes (QNUPS) and Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (ROPS).

We would recommend reading the expert verdict section of this review for more information.

 

The Pros

> Based in Guernsey
> Offers QROPS in Malta and Gibraltar
> Years of experience

The Cons

> Very limited information available online
> Not transparent
> Regulatory action has been taken by the Malta Financial Services Authority (‘MFSA’) in 2019 against Bourse Malta Overseas Pension Scheme and The Bourse Retirement Scheme (Malta)
Is Guernsey a good jurisdiction?

Guernsey is a well regulated British Crown Dependency and remains a jurisdiction of choice for companies and individuals seeking trust, corporate, pension products and services.

Guernsey has long been considered a centre of excellence for the provision of offshore financial services.

The island is renowned for its robust yet pragmatic regulatory environment and is on the G20 ‘white list’ as having substantially implemented internationally agreed tax standards.

Guernsey is not part of the United Kingdom and has autonomy of internal government, including taxation.

The legal system is derived in part from the customary laws of Normandy but has been strongly influenced by English law.

In addition, Guernsey is not part of the European Union and therefore EU directives on fiscal harmonisation, financial services and company law do not have effect in Guernsey.

In this respect, Guernsey enjoys significant advantages over other jurisdictions.

All aspects of the island’s financial services industry are carefully regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (“GFSC”).

Financial services businesses such as Bourse are licensed by the GFSC according to their activities.

What products does Bourse Life and Pensions Limited offer?

The products offered by Bourse Life and Pensions Limited can be summarised below:

  1. Executive Portfolio Bonds:
    The Executive Portfolio Bonds allow non-UK residents to make highly personalised investments within a bond structure.
  2. Executive Investment Bonds:
    The Executive Investment Bond is an investment bond-type product that is offered by Bourse Life to act as a vehicle through which people can make investments in listed securities and other regulated products.

    Policyholders are able to take advantage of the UK regime applicable to offshore bonds, in particular benefiting from ‘gross-roll up’ as no tax is levied on the income and gains of the underlying funds during the life time of the bond.
  3. Managed Portfolio Bond:
    The Managed Portfolio Bond provides access for advisors regulated under the Insurance Distribution Directive to Bourse Life risk-rated managed portfolios.
  4. Retirement Annuity Contract:
    The Bourse Retirement Annuity Contract is a contract based retirement annuity scheme approved by the Director of Income Tax in Guernsey in accordance with provisions of s175A of The Income Tax (Guernsey) Law, 1975, as amended.

    The Scheme qualifies for UK purposes as a Qualifying non-UK pension scheme (QNUPS) as defined in section 271A IHTA 1984.
  5. Annuities:
    Bourse Life offers flexible, unit-linked annuities which allow the annuitant to determine the value and frequency of payments made to the annuitant whilst offering to the annuitant the stability provided by holding an annuity with a fully-licensed life insurance company.

    Bourse Life offers short-term, flexible, fixed-term and lifetime unit-linked annuities as well as annuities certain. Bourse Life is a Non-EEA annuity provided for the purposes of QROPS and IPP end of plan purchases.

    Where annuities are purchased by UK resident individuals from post-tax capital, purchased life annuity tax treatment will be available.
  6. Policyholder Protection:

    As a fully-licensed insurance company, Bourse Life is obliged to comply with all applicable regulation issued by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission including the requirement for Bourse Life adhere to a Policy Protection Statement agreed with the GFSC.

    This includes an obligation on Bourse Life to maintain any assets that are subject to any policy issued by Bourse Life with an independent trustee company, Independent Fiduciary Services Limited.

    The assets held by the trustee can then only be released with the express written consent of the independent director of the independent trustee.

What are the types of structures offered by Bourse Malta?

Bourse Malta is experienced in structuring and administering Malta-based structures which allow for the ownership of yachts and aircraft whilst securing a reduction in the VAT payable on the yacht or aircraft acquired.

This includes:

  • Yacht Leasing:
    Bourse Malta will incorporate a new company to acquire and hold a yacht with the yacht then leased to the client under a lease agreement. At the commencement of the arrangement, Bourse Malta will liaise with the client to establish the best lease-based structure to meet that client’s needs, taking into account the required length of lease, the value of the yacht to be acquired and any other relevant factors. At the end of the lease, the client will acquire the yacht with a reduction in the VAT payable.

  • Commercial Yacht Holding Companies:
    Instead of operating a leasing structure, a client can opt to have Bourse Malta incorporate a new company to acquire and hold a yacht with a view to allowing that yacht to be chartered by third parties (which may include the client). This position is open-ended, allowing the client flexibility on either acquiring or disposing of the yacht.
  • Aircraft Leasing:
    Instead of the above arrangements being applied to yachts, a similar structure may be applied to the acquisition of aircraft. 

Have you used Bourse Pension Trustees' services or QROPS solutions?

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Expert assessment of Bourse Pension Trustees

On the surface the Bourse pension offering looks robust. However, information seems limited and opaque.

We currently believe that there are better providers and solutions in the market.

Read the UK regulators advice on pension transfers here.

Never deal with an IFA that isn’t authorised as a UK pension transfer specialist.

If you already hold a pension plan with Bourse Pension Trustees, our advice would be to seek professional, fee-based and independent advice. For pensions worth £250,000 or more, we recommend contacting us for a Second Opinion.

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