The Island

Jersey's history and culture has resulted in a cosmopolitan and sophisticated community, open to every challenge and opportunity.

The jurisdiction's main language is English. However, due to Jersey’s cosmopolitan nature, most European languages are spoken and can be used for business transactions.

Jersey is divided into 12 parishes, each with its own sea coast. Each parish is presided over by the elected head of parish, the Connétable, on issues relating to civil matters and by the Rector on issues relating to ecclesiastical affairs.

The British pound (£) and Jersey pound (valued 1:1) form its retail currency, with all major currencies accepted for financial transactions.

Jersey’s status as a Crown Dependency gives the jurisdiction constitutional rights of self-government and judicial independence. This offers both businesses and investors the benefits of an independent international finance centre which is close to the United Kingdom and mainland Europe.

Education is of paramount importance to Jersey's Government, the States of Jersey, both for the children of the Island and for the adult population.

A large proportion of Jersey's working population are professionally trained and work in the finance and support industries. The availability of internationally recognised accountancy and legal experts ensures smooth and professional handling of any business transacted within the Island.

Encouraging best use of technology in all aspects of life, e-business initiatives are actively being encouraged by the States. The burgeoning e-business industry is also providing quality support for the dynamic needs of the finance industry.

Business communication links to the Island are exemplary, with high standards of international telecommunications, information technology, postal and courier services. All major digital telephony, including Internet networks and services, can be accessed in a secure, resilient and protected environment.

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History

The Island’s history has created a dynamic community, one which looks for challenges and opportunities beyond its own 45 square mile (117 square km) shores.

A French territory until 1066, the Channel Islands chose allegiance to the English Crown when, in 1204, the Anglo-Norman Kingdom divided.

Whilst remembering its heritage, with many French place names and a second ’Jersey-French’ language, Jersey has remained a loyal English Crown Dependency ever since.

Royal Charters, drawn up in 1204, which detail Jersey’s constitutional rights of self-government, judicial independence and freedom to set its own taxes, have remained the foundations of Jersey’s success for 800 years. The Island is loyal only to the English Queen or King, not to any United Kingdom Government or political party.

During the English Civil War, Jersey became the refuge for King Charles II which was provided by Sir George (de) Carteret, Lord of the Manor and Seigneur of the Parish of St Ouen. In 1660, after the English throne was returned to him, King Charles II wrote to Sir George promising to reward him for his kindness. In 1664 the King made good his promise and gave George Carteret joint ownership of a province in America which he renamed New Jersey in honour of his Island home.

In more recent times, the Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by the Germans during World War II until allied liberation on May 9th 1945. Many fortifications remain and now prove popular with international historians and visitors. More information can be found on the website of Jersey’s award-winning historical trust (www.jerseyheritagetrust.org).

Jersey’s history has been a colourful one. The Island’s economy has evolved from the days of thriving knitting, boat building and fishing industries, to successes in agriculture, tourism and finance; the latter now provides around 60% of the Island’s revenue.

The Government of Jersey is dedicated to ensuring that the Island’s industries support its community and that the finance industry continues to provide quality and secure wealth management solutions for all investors.