Firstly by way of introduction, Jersey Finance is the voice of the finance industry in Jersey. We represent approaching 200 firms and our membership covers the vast majority of Jersey Finance workers. I am delighted to say that we are quite unusual in our constitution in that we receive significant support and backing from the States of Jersey, as well as from the Finance Industry and we are in effect a Private/Public partnership between Industry and Government.
Our role is threefold; firstly to promote and represent the Jersey finance industry offering here and around the world. Secondly to work on product and service development to ensure our offering continues to be strong, relevant and attractive. And thirdly to ensure that we proactively engage with media, influencers, and policy makers around the world, to ensure that the value and integrity of what we do is understood
The Jersey finance industry as we know it today began in the 1960’s principally offering banking services to British expatriates. It has developed over the last 50 years into a global international finance centre. It offers a full range of corporate and wealth management services, to an international client base in over 200 countries.
We are one of the largest centres of our kind with 13,000 people working in finance, which is 1 in 4 of the working population. This significant breadth and depth of world class expertise enables us to offer an extensive, and highly competitive range of financial services.
Our flagship sectors are banking; including corporate, expatriate and private banking services, private wealth management, including trusts, and funds; principally ‘alternates’ such as real estate, hedge, and private equity
We manage or administer around £350bn of deposits and funds providing valuable liquidity and investment into major proximate markets such as the UK, France and Germany. It was estimated in a UK Treasury review in 2009, that Jersey was providing as much liquidity to the UK banking system as the Bank of England had provided in intervention support, during the financial crisis.
In terms of economic impact locally this all translates into over 50% of Jerseys GDP equivalent , and with the indirect contribution from spend on support services, contributes more than two thirds of the Jersey economy.
The finance industry in Jersey has strong links with France.
Our own membership includes such names as BNP Paribas and Mazars, both major sponsors of this event, for which many thanks, and others such as Societe Generale Hambros, and Union Bancaire Privee.
These organisations like many others have found that Jersey is a compelling and attractive centre from which to offer international services to the rest of the world. In addition many French financial services groups are significant users of Jersey services, notable examples being AXA Group and Lyxor Asset Management
In terms of the standing of the Jersey financial services industry in the world, of course you would expect me to say positive things, but let me for a moment provide you with some citations and endorsements, from independent and authoritative sources.
· In April 2009 Jersey was one of the first centres globally to be G20 white listed
· We are the leading centre of our kind in the Global Financial Centres Index published by the City of London
· We are a participating partner in the OECD peer review forum, and vice Chair to Monsiuer Francois d’Aubert the OECD Peer Review Group Chair which is held by France
· We have scored the highest compliance ratings yet achieved in an IMF FSAP assessment and been described as a Top Tier centre by the IMF
· We were recently voted IFC of the Year by the internationally acclaimed Society of Trustee and Estate Practitioners or STEP as they are better known, representing 15,000 of the worlds leading private client and wealth management advisers
Given these credentials we are often surprised and puzzled by the view of Îles de la Manche, as portrayed by the french media, where we are more commonly described as ‘le paradis fiscal’
During the period of the G20 white listing process I completed more than 40 media interviews including most of the main french TV channels, le Monde, la tribune and others
Despite the worlds leading regulators consistently giving Jersey a clean bill of health this rather unfortunate and inaccurate portrayal of Jersey has clearly taken root with the french media.
With such an eminent and influential audience before me I would like to take just a few moments to explain what we are as a finance centre, and what we are not. My hope is that we just might persuade you to become Advocates and Ambassadors for Jersey when you return home!