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  3. Jersey’s Standing Enhanced by Series of Independent Endorsements

Jersey’s Standing Enhanced by Series of Independent Endorsements

By Geoff Cook, chief executive Jersey Finance Limited



At a time of increasing international scrutiny for international finance centres as a result of the global financial crisis, leading jurisdictions such as Jersey with a solid reputation and a sound regulatory pedigree have emerged in a stronger position.

Recognised through a series of independent assessments for the quality of its supervisory and regulatory capabilities, Jersey has been able to use these endorsements to add further momentum to its international drive to build business both in traditional markets such as London and further afield, for example, in the huge emerging economies of the Greater China region and India.

There have been a number of developments since 2009 which have reinforced Jersey’s reputation for probity and international co-operation. They include:

  • Its inclusion on the OECD ‘white list’ of jurisdictions, which meet the international standard on tax matters
  • Praise by the United Kingdom Treasury for leading the way in establishing Tax Information Exchange Agreements
  • The IMF 2009 assessment which ranked Jersey as the best for regulatory and supervisory practices ahead of 120 jurisdictions including the UK and US
  • The positive report for Jersey in the Review of British Offshore Financial Centres by HM Treasury in November last year.
  • Its placing as the highest rated offshore international finance centre in the most recent competitive ranking in the Global Financial Centres Index.

The endorsements continue. In 2010 Jersey has been voted the top international finance centre at the annual International Fund and Product Awards and the jurisdiction also won the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Award for best ‘International Finance Centre of the Year’.

The evidence to date in 2010 is that the status Jersey enjoys within the global financial services industry is helping the jurisdiction to once more attract new business as the world markets emerge from the recession.

The latest Finance Industry figures from Jersey show that at the end of the first quarter of 2010, there had been a significant increase in bank deposits booked in the jurisdiction for the first time since December 2008. The total number of deposits stood at £177. 6 billion, a 7.5% increase on the previous quarter. Company incorporations were also at their highest level since June 2008 with more than 700 companies incorporated in the first quarter of 2010, a net increase in the same period of more than 300 new companies.

Enduring success

Jersey’s enduring success as an international finance centre has long been built on the quality of its banking service capabilities, its experience as a centre for funds business and its support of wealth management, trust and estate planning strategies.

If we examine the critical success factors for an international finance centre, it is apparent that Jersey delivers on all the necessary criteria. A jurisdiction needs a government that is responsive to the international markets and demands placed upon it. There is also a need for robust regulation, appropriate legislation and the capability to amend or enhance the rules and laws that govern the financial services industry quickly but prudently. It is important that there is a strong skills base and an abundance of experience in banking, legal, administration, wealth management and fund services so that it is possible to provide investors with a one stop shop for their needs. There is a need for a wide range of quality providers including many of the world’s largest financial organisations. Jersey has also shown its commitment to transparency while ensuring that legitimate clients maintain their right to their financial information remaining confidential.

Such characteristics appeal to all the major financial centres and has been helpful for Jersey in developing business ties in regions of the world where the jurisdiction is less well known such as in India and the Greater China region. Jersey Finance has hosted a number of delegations to these regions in recent times to help explore for doing more business in these locations.

Last year Jersey Finance opened an office in Hong Kong to cement its growing business connections in the region and to act as a hub for further business growth across Asia Pacific. In a further significant development, Jersey companies have also been approved for listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, a move which demonstrates how the market in Asia views the quality and robustness of Jersey Company Law.

Jersey based professionals are learning also how they can assist Indian firms with their international expansion plans and wealth creation through an ongoing programme of visits to the region. Jersey Finance is supporting the efforts of the Jersey regulatory authorities in developing relationships with the Indian finance industry regulators, the Reserve Bank of India and Securities Exchange Board of India to assure them of our exemplary regulatory standards.

Hallmark

A hallmark of Jersey’s success over the long term has been its ability to evolve and tailor its financial services to meet the demands of the international marketplace. To do this effectively there is a close working relationship between government representatives and finance industry practitioners, alongside a regulatory authority that appreciates that while supervision needs to be of a high standard, rigorous and robust, the regulatory regime also needs an element of flexibility.

It is Jersey’s intention to build on its global recognition as a compliant and well regulated jurisdiction and to ensure that the world’s key financial markets are kept abreast of the breadth of banking, funds and wealth management services that Jersey’s finance industry provides to financial intermediaries, lawyers, accountants, private clients and their advisers across the world.


Jersey Industry Insight

E-Commerce, Opportunities in the Island of Jersey
by by Grant Twine, Director, Basel eBusiness Limited



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