The Power of Research, The Value of Knowledge

The past few days have been spent in London launching two reports to leading figures in the worlds of finance, politics and the media. It’s been busy, and the result has been that many key influencers now have a better understanding of the value that Jersey’s finance industry brings to Britain and Europe.

You can read the reports on a new section of the Jersey Finance website, which also contains other independent research.

The launch of the reports culminated in a reception in the Strangers Dining Room of the Houses of Parliament attended by members of both Houses. The report began – as much Jersey Finance research has – in Jersey with an awareness of a gap in our knowledge.

It is all very well saying that Jersey is an international finance centre of excellence, but those words only have true value when they are supported by fact. Independent, evidence-based research by acknowledged experts helps strengthen Jersey’s position on the international stage.

The latest research, produced by Capital Economics and published in the Value to reports, evaluates the economic, financial and fiscal linkages between both Jersey and Britain, and Jersey and mainland Europe. The reports’ findings are that Jersey is of overwhelming net positive value to both, providing vital liquidity and inward investment to those economies, while supporting tens of thousands of jobs across the region.

The reports also look closely at Jersey’s leadership role in the global efforts to improve financial transparency and to clamp down on criminal activities such as tax evasion. Capital Economics' work follows similar recognition of Jersey’s long-standing legislation to tackle money laundering and financial crime. The Island is judged by the IMF, the OECD and others as being one of the best regulated jurisdictions in the world.

Six-month investigation

It took Capital Economics six month to conduct the considerable research which lies behind the two Value to reports. They took large amounts of data from official sources, and organised a substantial survey of Jersey institutions in order to understand the kinds of business operating here.

We are grateful to them, and to everyone involved, because the final reports are important and substantial pieces of work. The facts contained in them will not only raise the awareness of Jersey’s value to the UK and Europe but also of the Island’s finance industry more generally. The facts act as anchors for the key messages that we want to promote and, in the minds of current and potential investors, they highlight the merits of Jersey as an international finance centre.

Knowledge strategy

It was Neil Armstrong who defined research as “creating new knowledge” and, as the American writer Kurt Vonnegut said, “new knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become”.

It has been Jersey Finance’s strategy to invite leading experts to give their opinion on the size, scope and standard of our industry, and our library of research is slowly growing.

The OECD and FATF endorsed our regulatory regime, and now we have further evidence of how Jersey facilitates flows of capital around the world and the value to the global economy of international financial centers like ours.

A recent report from MONEYVAL, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism, reviewed Jersey’s institutional, legislative and regulatory framework and found that, of the 49 areas they assessed, Jersey was rated compliant or largely compliant in 48, placing us in the top tier of jurisdictions assessed under those criteria. (The criticism of Jersey in the 49th area was that, for a jurisdiction of our size, the number of money laundering prosecutions, convictions and confiscations was relatively low. The Island has responded by increasing its capacity to investigate and prosecute serious financial crime.)

In the face of Brexit and other uncertainties, the new reports add to the library of knowledge which reaffirms the role that Jersey plays and the significant value we add, not just to the global economy but also to the international finance industry’s transparency agenda.

These are photos from the reception held in the Strangers Dining Room of the Houses of Parliament

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