Geoff Cook, Chief Executive of Jersey Finance Limited:
“Jersey Finance notes the publication of today’s report by ActiondAid and refutes its claims as they relate to Jersey.
Jersey is a cooperative, transparent and well-regulated international finance centre (IFC), a position that is supported by the results of numerous independent reviews by bodies including the IMF, FATF, OECD and HM Treasury.
In relation to the UK, the island plays a valuable role in supporting the British economy, with international deposits taken by Jersey banks being upstreamed to their UK parents, providing many billions of pounds of liquidity to the market. It is also irresponsible to claim that well regulated IFC’s such as Jersey undermine the stability of the wider international financial system, when it is clear that the recent global crisis had its roots firmly anchored in the debt taken on by major western deficit economies and inadequate regulation in London and New York.
Tax evasion is illegal in Jersey and has been a criminal offence since 1999. Companies do not use centres such as Jersey to avoid tax, they use them because Jersey provides a tax neutral location that offers stability, strong regulation and expertise.
In terms of the relationship between IFC’s and developing countries, a study by Professor Jason Sharman, one of a number of such authoritative reports, found that IFCs can enhance economic growth and alleviate poverty among developing countries by boosting domestic and foreign investment and that small IFCs are in fact crucial intermediaries for trade with and investment into developing countries.
In this current period when the global financial architecture is under review there is a distinct danger that if IFCs are discriminated against or marginalised this could not only damage the flow of capital around the world, but significantly hamper the economic progress of developing nations.”