Mr Christensen makes inaccurate and derogatory claims about Jersey’s reputation as an international finance centre in the Sydney Morning Herald online on November 26 without any evidence to support them.
In fact if he examined the evidence he would be forced to admit that that a huge body of evidence places Jersey among the best, most regulated and co-operative jurisdictions of any, with the very highest international standards of compliance.
Most recently a report from the Financial Stability Board presented at the G20 meeting at Cannes listed Jersey among jurisdictions in the top tier for demonstrating strong adherence to international standards and information exchange. The Financial Action TaskForce also has Jersey in the top tier and so does the IMF who conducted a detailed analysis of our supervisory and regulatory procedures in 2009 and gave Jersey a rating which was higher than those of the UK or USA. The Island is a major participant in the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information and has to date signed 25 tax information exchange agreements, 13 of which are with G20 nations, and more are in the pipeline.
In a further recognition of its international standing, Jersey was singled out for its effective procedure for identifying beneficial owners of companies, in a comprehensive report published this quarter by the World Bank and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. These assessments and reviews are rigorous and demanding as they should be and entirely independent.
No one denies there is tax evasion in the global financial system that needs to be stamped out. Tax evasion is a crime and Jersey does not wish to be party to it and we are co-operating with other nations in fighting it. However independent studies undertaken by he University of Oxford and the UK Treasury commissioned ‘Review of British Offshore Financial Centres’ confirm that true levels of tax avoidance and evasion in most offshore International Finance Centres are far lower than Mr Christensen alleges.
It appears that Mr Christensen is seeking to lay the blame for Europe’s financial crisis at the door of legitimate, well regulated cross border business not because there is factual evidence to support such claims, but because it is a suitably sensationalist fit with his lobbying agenda.
When examined in light of the comprehensive evidence to the contrary, all of it built on established international standards, his views and claims are inaccurate, illogical and quite clearly prejudiced.