FSC Q3 2020

New company incorporations climbed by 32 percent to reach 6,254 in the third quarter of 2020 after three straight quarters of falling numbers, as the financial services industry proved a bright spot in an economy struggling to deal with fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, despite the slight spike, the quarter was still the worst Q3 since 2003 when quarterly reporting began, suggesting that the industry can expect little respite from the overall downward slide of new incorporations, which in 2019 hit a 20-year annual low of 26,150.

New incorporations in Q3 2020 also fell by 10.34 percent when compared the same quarter in 2019, when they reached 6,975.

That still keeps 2020 incorporations on track for their worst year ever, with just over 16,000 companies incorporated in the first three quarters — approximately 4,000 less than were incorporated during the same period in 2019.

Other numbers

There was, however, some positive news on other fronts, with the total number of limited partnerships, which were established under legislation passed in 2017 as a simpler and more flexible alternative to the territory’s traditional company offerings, cracking the 1,000 mark for the first time in Q3.

Fifty-five new LPs were registered in Q3, representing a 14.58 percent increase over the same quarter in 2019, which saw 48, and a 48.65 percent increase over Q2, which saw 37.

Trademarks, however, lagged compared to 2019. With 66 applications to file a trademark, there were eight more than the previous quarter, but nine fewer than the same quarter the previous year.

That puts the number for the first three quarters at 218, which would be on track to match 2018 total, though not nearly enough to match the 2019 high of 314.

Total number

As of Q3, the total number of active registered companies stood at 380,449, representing a slight increase of 4,607 over the previous quarter’s totals.

However, total active companies are also on an overall downward trend. In 2019 the total number of active companies hit at least a 13-year low, falling to 387,344 after peaking at 481,002 in 2011.

And government revenue from the sector is projected to fall to a decade low of $168.9 million for 2020 despite a steep fee hike three years ago that boosted 2018 revenue to an all-time high of nearly $232 million.

If projections hold true when the final numbers are tallied, fees from financial services will contribute less than 50 percent of government revenue in 2020 for the first time since before 2007.