The publication today of the Survey of Financial Institutions provided valuable statistical insight into performance, priorities and issues within Jersey’s finance industry.
An overall decline in profits for the industry was significant during 2010, down 25% on 2009, and the estimate of total net profits is the lowest recorded by the survey since its introduction in 1995.
Encouragingly, employment was only down by 2% in comparison, and expenditure on goods and services by the finance industry was up by approximately 3% to £690 million, equating to £400 million being spent on-island by finance firms alone, which is an increase of £20 million since 2009 being injected into the local economy.
Also significantly, 89% of finance firms estimated that the confidence of their off-island parent companies in Jersey as a jurisdiction had been maintained or increased.
Another area of note in the survey included analysis of geographical focus for business development over the next three years, with Asia, the Middle East, the UK and Eastern Europe all scoring highly in terms of importance.
Going forward for 2011, over 63% of firms anticipated an increase in profitability, and approximately 59% of firms anticipated an increase in employment, with both figures being more optimistic compared to those made for 2010.
Geoff Cook, CEO of Jersey Finance commented
“2010 was still a turbulent time for our industry, due to the volatile nature of the global markets. Banking which represents the largest sector of the finance industry has been significantly affected by the continued low levels of interest rates on overall profits. But I believe that we are now coming out of the financial crisis and 2011 will be a positive year.
What these results reflect is that Jersey’s finance industry has been able to largely maintain its workforce and also to continue to invest in the local economy despite the pressures from global markets.
I am also pleased that this survey has further supported our efforts to develop new regions, an essential part of Jersey Finance’s long-term strategic activity. There are already signs of growth in 2011, with positive figures for funds, banking and company formations reported at the end of Quarter 1* and I am hopeful that with continued focus on promotion and innovation, we will be able to build on this recovery.
The work done by the Statistics Unit is an incredibly valuable tool for developing and assessing strategy. I would like to personally thank them for their efforts, as well as, all of the finance firms who completed the survey.”
*Quarterly statistics, collated and prepared by the Jersey Financial Services Commission.