Gibraltar: Offshore Business Sectors
Trust management has been a significant activity for Gibraltar for more than fifty years. Originally most trust business emanated from rich UK individuals and was tax-related, but asset protection trusts have become important in recent years, with a much more diverse clientele.
Gibraltar trust legislation is reasonably up-to-date. For the past few years it has been possible to set up purpose trusts, both for charitable and non-charitable purposes. Many Gibraltar legal firms and banks have trust management departments. At the time of writing, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) had a total of 40 members.
Gibraltar's asset protection trust legislation is unique, as it falls within the provisions of the bankruptcy laws, rather than falling within the ambit of fraudulent conveyancing laws. In order for a creditor to commence an action in Gibraltar, where the asset protection trust legislation is part of the bankruptcy law, the only direct action which can be commenced is a bankruptcy proceeding; the standard of intent to defraud that must be met is much narrower and generally more difficult for the creditor to satisfy.
Accounting and legal professionals are able to offer trust management without separate registration, but other persons or firms must obtain licenses for trust management from the Financial Services Commission.