Exclusive to Jersey Finance Members, our Fintech Update event on 16 March 2021 included the opportunity to pose questions to our panel from Jersey Finance, Digital Jersey, the Jersey Financial Services Commission and the Government of Jersey. Due to the high engagement from our audience, not all questions could be answered, so here you will find a selection of those unanswered questions, with responses from our panellists collated after the event.
Watch a few highlights of our Fintech Update: Artificial Intelligence and Digital Futures event and see what happened behind the scenes.
Olenka Apperley Adviser, Policy, Jersey Financial Services Commission
Jessica Osman Business Development Manager – Fintech, Digital Jersey
James Silverston Director of Financial Services, Government of Jersey
How does Jersey Finance, Digital Jersey and the Government collaborate on Fintech? How do we know that your ambitions and plans are always aligned?
Adam Brown (AB) – Collaboration is key to ensuring success, I am in contact with Jess and Olenka daily and frequently speak with not only James’s team but the wider Digital Policy and Economy teams in Government. We all have a shared view of each other’s priorities and roadmaps to ensure we align, support each other and are consistent with our approaches.
Jessica Osman (JO) – Apart from frequent informal interactions we also meet in a more structured manner in the shape of bi-monthly Fintech Forum’s which consists of participants from Jersey Finance, JFSC, Government and industry experts where we discuss news, share updates and align on upcoming events. We have also come together under the ‘Jersey for Fintech’ banner which we launched last year. This is a collaboration between Locate Jersey, Jersey Finance, Digital Jersey and industry with the aim of pulling together ambitions and position Jersey as an attractive Fintech jurisdiction.
Olenka Apperley (OA) – As Adam has said, we try to ensure that our Fintech goals and priorities are aligned and that we can provide support to one another. We are on hand to help with any enquiries that Digital Jersey and Jersey Finance receive from members. We also make ourselves available to meet with businesses to discuss any queries they may have about regulation in relation to fintech and innovation.
Does the JFSC collaborate with any other regulators within the fintech space?
OA – The JFSC is a member of the Global Financial Innovation Network which is an initiative established for regulators to collaborate with one another. We are also on work streams set up by the International Organisation of Securities Commission (IOSCO) for Fintech and Initial Coin Offerings
Is the JFSC going to make any changes to its approach on E-ID?
OA – The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated a number of financial services firms’ approach to using technology and we have remained on hand to assist firms’ understanding of how they may use technology within Jersey’s regulatory framework (such as electronic identification measures or E-ID). The following resources are available on our website:
Do you think the Island’s approach to fintech is ambitious enough?
AB – We would all like to do more but there is a reality that the Island has only so much scale so rather than trying to cover all fintech bases and opportunities I think we have to be realistic and focus in on key areas and do them really well. At Jersey Finance, we talk of our fintech priorities and regtech and wealthtech are examples, the fintech enablers also highlight the positive areas of focus that can help fintech as a sector thrive.
James Silverston (JS) – It’s important that Jersey plays to its strengths. While we may not be able to compete for some of the bigger players in the sector, we are fortunate to have a well-established finance industry which naturally leads to supporting the Fintech sector. If we continue to build on that, maintain our excellent and supportive infrastructure and nimble approach, the industry will continue to grow.
OA – I agree with Adam’s thoughts. On balance, I think that we are prioritising the projects which present opportunities for the Island with the resources we have.
JO – No, is my personal answer. We have made great progress in the last couple of years but there is still so much more we could and should be doing. As you would have heard at the event, there is work in progress to align our agendas further and outline our joint ambitions and priorities going forward. With the great collaboration we have on the island now I am optimistic that we can achieve great things.
Jersey doesn’t have the volumes of data to train AI algorithms, is this a significant barrier for the use of AI on the Island?
AB – It is worth considering who is trying to train what data, many Jersey based firms in finance or other sectors have some form of presence in multiple jurisdictions. Pooling the data centrally increases the volume available but this brings other considerations such as data transfers, jurisdictional laws and regulation, information transfer, the GDPR.
From a tech/fintech perspective, how does Jersey compared against other locations? Are we ahead, or behind?
AB – The honest answer is somewhere in between; naturally we will be behind some jurisdictions such as the global leaders, the likes of London, New York, and Singapore that have size and throughput but ahead of others. We compare favourably against a great many direct and indirect competitors, its back to those enablers of proximity, regulation, digital infrastructure, expertise, we are seeing this as positive factors which give us a competitive edge.
The Government says it supports fintech. What is it actually doing to support the sector?
JS – The impact of Covid heightened the need to ensure that the economy is digitally capable. To do so, the Government works closely with Digital Jersey and Jersey Finance to understand the pressures and demands of the industry to ensure it thrives.
The Government Plan supports this and sets out the intention to continue to invest in Digital Jersey to ensure the island makes progress towards a digital, knowledge-based economy and increased access to digital capability.
Government recognises Fintech as a growth sector and is keen to explore new opportunities and initiatives with industry through representative bodies and working groups.
There is a close working relationship with the Financial Crime Team to ensure the appropriate regulatory framework and safeguards exist to ensure Jersey thrives as a FinTech centre, while continuing to demonstrate compliance with international standards.
AB – And of course both Jersey Finance and Digital Jersey receive Government support to push forward with our respective fintech initiatives.
'Jersey for Fintech' has been talked about, but what is it and what benefit does it have for my business?
AB – Jersey for Fintech is a collaboration between the Government of Jersey and key agencies – Locate Jersey, Jersey Finance and Digital Jersey – to promote Jersey as the ideal location for fintech firms. It serves to highlight Jersey as a credible option for fintech, in the context of supply and demand more fintech choice is great for our Members and for the on Island fintechs they are part of the promotion and success story and stand to gain from the promotion and export it opportunities we hope to realise.
Are you at all concerned that AI and digital solutions, as they are more readily introduced, may take jobs away? Particularly those lost due to COVID-19?
AB – Good question! We touch on this in the report we are launching today. There have been many predictions and statements on the impact of AI on jobs, as with all technological breakthroughs, there will be disruption the job market globally and not just in financial services. From speaking to a number of our Members, AI – particularly automation – is viewed positively as a means of capacity creation rather than role displacement. There are firms using this to free up staff to focus on higher value activities or to spend more time with clients.
JS – As a Government we recognise the opportunities and challenges that progression in technology bring. We should embrace these changes and work with the technology to ensure that any potential job displacement is balanced out through upskilling our workforce into new roles. The Digital Jersey Academy is a great example of this.
You can watch the event in full via Webinars On-Demand. Please note that this option is only available to Jersey Finance Members.