Balanced commentary on small international finance centres is pretty hard to find, given the frequent use of lazy media stereotypes by the worlds press.

No country will be 100% free from bad business but in Jersey we fight harder than most countries to prevent it, and when it is detected to act on it to root it out.

It is refreshing then to see some recognition in the Financial Times today in Vanessa Houlder’s article entitled “Havens Crackdown: Momentum builds for tax transparency as part of the G8 special report. “

Whilst I might prefer a different headline the content of the article is much more balanced than the usual fare. Vanessa is one of the few journalists to have made the effort to get on top of international tax and its labyrinthine complexity.

In her article Vanessa highlights a World bank report which supports the view that Jersey is a leader in information capture and ensuring adequate records of true ownership (the technical term is beneficial ownership) of companies.

The report found that only Jersey out of 40 countries surveyed required this information to be captured and recorded. The point often missed is that you have to have the information in the first place to be able to exchange it and most countries don’t have it!

This powerfully reinforces Jersey’s claim to be a world leader in transparency