States Members and senior representatives of the Finance Industry have been briefed Friday (April 26) on the findings of a detailed and comprehensive research project undertaken to consider the future direction of Jersey’s Finance Industry.
The Finance Industry Strategic Jurisdictional Review was conducted by Jersey Finance in association with a leading international consultancy firm and has formulated a plan designed to sustain the success of the Industry for the benefit of the economy as a whole and all Island residents for the long term.
More than 100 Jersey firms and organisations representing government, the financial regulator and all sectors of the finance industry were involved in the consultation process as part of the research. Some 40 in depth interviews were undertaken with key figures who introduce business to Jersey from around the world and the views of a further 25 senior finance industry experts were sought about the future shape of the international financial services industry. There were also 30 workshops to assist with the strategic thinking.
Following the completion of the research, the next step has been the formation of a steering committee on which Government, the Industry and the Regulator are all represented, and which will oversee the entire effort and recommend to the Chief Minister what decisions are required to maintain progress and deliver the agreed key initiatives.
Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst commented:
‘Government greatly appreciates the efforts of the research team and the stakeholders who gave so much of their time to this vital project. Government is fully committed to the future of Jersey as a successful international finance centre and is determined that the initiatives agreed will be executed both speedily and effectively. The contribution the finance industry makes to government revenues, personal incomes and employment levels is of such importance that we cannot leave its future success to chance.
One of the key findings from the research is the importance of clear lines of government responsibility for financial services. We have moved on this already and as I told the States on 16th April the Council of Ministers has endorsed the transfer of political responsibility for the financial services industry to the Chief Minister, and the Minister of Treasury and Resources has been asked to assist by taking on many of the operational tasks involved in putting the initiatives quickly into effect.’
The findings are wide ranging across each sector of the finance industry. Amongst the broad conclusions are that:
• cross border investment flows will accelerate
• tax regimes will not be harmonised and competition between jurisdictions will remain
• wealth accumulation will increase rapidly particularly in emerging markets while political instability will remain an important factor in investment decisions
Joe Moynihan, Director of Financial Services, States of Jersey, commented:
‘There is much to absorb and learn from this detailed analysis which has concluded that there is a strong long-term future for International Financial Centres, which will continue to prosper if they successfully tap into cross border investment flows as they develop and from the wealth creators in those target markets.’
Geoff Cook, CEO Jersey Finance, added:
‘The research has highlighted that there is no ‘magic bullet’ for instant success but it has pinpointed the value of protecting and nurturing what we have already from the threat of competitive challenges as the key priority and this should be placed ahead of moving into new sectors, to ensure the long-term prosperity of Jersey’s finance industry.
‘One of the key findings from the research is the importance of the private sector being primarily responsible for innovation within the industry, whilst the Government and regulator work to foster the commercial environment in which innovation can flourish. It is encouraging that both Government and the regulator have already signed up to this concept and we look forward to working with their representatives in the steering group to implement the recommendations contained in the analysis.’
John Harris, Director General of the Jersey Financial Services Commission, also commented: ‘The JFSC shares the view expressed by the research team that the future success of Jersey as a reputable international finance centre, recognised as such internationally, will be greatly assisted if the three stakeholders – government, regulator and industry – work closely together to a common purpose. The Commission is committed to playing a full part in this.’