Jersey’s relationship with the Gulf region has been enhanced both by the arrival in Jersey of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), a major banking group from the region and the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Jersey and UAE financial regulatory authorities.

ADCB has been granted a banking licence by the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) and it will operate in Jersey through a managed bank arrangement with AIB Jersey whose chief executive officer Joe Moynihan signed the agreement with senior representatives from ADCB in Abu Dhabi earlier this week.

ADCB is the third largest bank in the UAE and second largest in Abu Dhabi by assets. It is a full service commercial bank which is 58% owned by the Abu Dhabi Government through the Abu Dhabi Investment Council.

Services offered by the Bank in Jersey will include basic deposit taking products, current accounts and term deposits to high net worth individuals and mass affluent clients of the Bank and there is an intention to extend the range of products at a later date. The ADCB Offshore Banking service enables its customers to operate accounts in multiple currencies from anywhere in the world, irrespective of their country of residence, reducing the need to hold accounts in different countries.

In their announcement ADCB noted that ‘the added stability and security offered by a well established offshore financial centre like Jersey offers our customers peace of mind that their savings are held in a secure and highly regulated centre which is ideal for inheritance and estate planning.’

The announcement from ADCB comes in the same week that The Central Bank of the UAE has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) in Abu Dhabi. The MOU puts in place a formal mechanism to enable the regulatory authorities to co-operate on supervisory matters and exchange of information. John Harris, Director General of the JFSC, and H E Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaldi, Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE, signed the understanding in a formal ceremony in Abu Dhabi.

Senator Alan Maclean, who was recently re-appointed Minister for Economic Development, States of Jersey, welcomed the developments.

‘These moves highlight the value of seeking to develop closer ties to the Gulf states, and the strategic decision of opening a Jersey Finance office in Abu Dhabi which helped to demonstrate Jersey’s commitment to the region. Furthermore, the decision by a significant banking group from the Gulf region to set up its offshore capabilities in Jersey is a telling endorsement of Jersey’s strengths as a jurisdiction.’

Geoff Cook, chief executive, Jersey Finance Limited, described the developments as adding positively to the momentum of Jersey’s links with the Gulf region and added that ‘The formal presence in the region is helping to foster stronger ties with both officials and finance professionals, and is increasing business flows to Jersey from the Gulf.’

Geoff Cook commented:

‘The decision by ADCB to opt for Jersey as the location to establish its offshore banking offering reflects well on Jersey’s reputation in the Gulf region and will add appreciably to the potential for increasing banking business in the future, while the signing of the MoU is also a major milestone in our relations with the UAE and is the culmination of many years of collective efforts by Jersey Government officials, Jersey Finance and the JFSC.’