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Jersey Reveals 'Resilient' Finance Statistics

by Robert Lee,, London

28 November 2008

The latest statistics published on behalf of the finance industry in Jersey show the industry holding up well during the third quarter of the year, despite difficult market conditions.

The number of new funds increased by 45 to 1,452 although there was a decrease in the net asset value of funds by 1.8% from GBP244.2bn to GBP239.9bn. The number of expert funds continues to rise, passing the 400 mark for the first time. Bank deposits held at virtually the same level as last quarter, increasing from GBP196.9bn to GBP197bn.

Jersey Finance Chief Eexecutive Geoff Cook described the figures as encouraging, but urged caution in drawing any substantive conclusions. He commented:

“These figures reflect Jersey’s position up until September 30 and in the period following we have seen significant turmoil in world financial markets. It is inevitable that we will feel some effects of the downturn in the final quarter of the year.”

Nevertheless, Cook was encouraged given market conditions and said that when benchmarking the statistics alongside general trends, Jersey had "performed well" in the third quarter.

He added:

“There is no doubt that disruption in the financial markets has an impact on all the major centres where we do business. Despite this, Jersey has shown a considerable degree of resilience, due to the nature of the work we do and the strength and durability of our financial sector.”

“Our aim must be to compete to increase our share of a declining new business market and it is vital therefore that the industry remains focused on its business development initiatives in the UK, Europe and Asia at this time. Jersey’s expertise in private wealth solutions and corporate structuring is amongst the very best in the world, as indicated by our ranking at No 6 by professional respondents in the Global Financial Services Index, ahead of all our key competitors. We must continue to showcase these areas of expertise, alongside our growing presence in the alternative funds sector, in both traditional markets such as London and in the emerging regions such as China and India.”

Richard Thomas, chairman of the Jersey Funds Association, added that the industry could take heart from its performance during a tough trading period, but he warned that the current quarter’s continuing difficulties were likely to reflect in a reduction in values at year end. However, he added that a further positive note in the third quarter were the figures in the hedge and private equity fund sectors. Both had recorded small increases in overall fund values, a reflection of the continued interest amongst the alternative funds sector in choosing Jersey as a preferred domicile.

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