The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) and the Financial Services Board of the Republic of South Africa (FSB) is a positive step forward in enhancing market access between the two jurisdictions, according to Jersey Finance.

The MoU, signed by the JFSC and the FSB on Friday 6 February, provides a formal framework for the two regulators to exchange regulatory information and co-operate regarding the supervision and regulation of firms under their respective authority. The MoU is in addition to a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) between Jersey and South Africa, which came into force in 2012.

As well as highlighting Jersey’s broad commitment to international cooperation, the MoU also creates an enhanced framework specifically to help facilitate the growing volume of quality banking, private wealth and alternative investment fund business between the two jurisdictions.

The signing of the MoU follows the publication at the end of last year of the ‘Jersey’s Value to Africa’ report by Capital Economics, commissioned by Jersey Finance, which found that Jersey has the potential to become a significant facilitator of foreign direct investment into Africa. The report found that, whilst Africa has the opportunity to quadruple living standards by 2040, to do so it will need to find $11.4 trillion in extra investment, $6.1 trillion of which would need to come from foreign direct investment through specialist centres like Jersey.

Geoff Cook, CEO, Jersey Finance Limited, commented:

“This MoU is a further important element of our efforts to build strong, quality links with South Africa and the African continent as a whole. As was indicated in the Value to Africa report, we anticipate increasing flows in business with Africa over the coming years, as we seek to achieve much stronger engagement with South African banking institutions, as Jersey firms provide rising levels of private wealth management services in Africa, and as a greater volume of inbound private equity and much needed infrastructure investment funds into Africa are structured through Jersey.

“This latest agreement is part of an ongoing programme for Jersey, demonstrating its commitment to developing frameworks for international cooperation and reinforcing the island’s position as a transparent and well regulated international finance centre.”

Jersey’s regulator has now signed bilateral or multilateral MoUs with regulators in over 90 countries, complemented by a comprehensive and growing network of 44 international tax agreements including TIEAs and Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs).