The appeal of Jersey’s political and economic stability has always been a constant, alongside the inherent skills within the jurisdiction’s workforce, now standing at more than 13,600. The strength of our regulation, our ability to cooperate with the authorities in other nations and our resilience during periods of change or upheaval, all play a vital role in the success of Jersey today.
A SOUND REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
Jersey has a long-held reputation for providing quality regulation and compliance that meets the high standards now expected by regulatory authorities and has been quick to respond, for instance, with regards to substance laws. Our government’s willingness to cooperate with standard setting authorities helps us to remain in the top tier of jurisdictions for the quality of our regulatory regime in tackling money laundering and financial crime, a position affirmed when assessed by supervisory organisations such as MONEYVAL (the Council of Europe monitoring body) and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Jersey has always punched above its weight in this regard and has been agile enough to design and implement the regulatory and legislative regimes that are the hallmark of its offering and robust enough to stand up to international scrutiny.
RELATIONSHIPS AND REPUTATION
Jersey has maintained its strong relationship with the City of London, our most important strategic partner, whilst also leading a series of visits to key markets and building networks with global partners through our overseas teams in the GCC, the Far East, Africa and the US.
There have been many challenges on our journey, not least the requirement to educate governments and stakeholders about the positive value that jurisdictions such as Jersey bring to economies and to counter the inaccurate claim that leading offshore locations are used for tax evasion or avoidance and drain major economies.
To demonstrate Jersey’s continued value, we embarked on a series of independent studies which highlighted the value of our contribution to global markets through an analysis of the work we do. The Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), recently produced a report entitled ‘Jersey’s Contribution to Global Value Chains’, which found, among other impressive statistics, that Jersey’s combined financial services sector supports more than £170 billion of global GDP each year and sustains 5.1 million jobs worldwide, including 951,000 jobs in the UK.
These figures illustrate Jersey’s impressive global economic footprint, the critical role we play as a facilitator of economic activity and the positive contribution made through our banking, wealth management and funds expertise.
It is one of our differentiators as an IFC that our focus is on providing insights, driving innovation and adding value through evidence-based research and we will continue to do that in the years ahead.
RESILIENCE AND INNOVATION
Product innovation continues apace and in more recent times, the Jersey Private Fund has further streamlined our offering to the global funds community. Trust regulations were enhanced on a number of occasions to meet client needs and foundations were added to the statute. This, alongside the Charities (Jersey) Law 2014, which was subsequently expanded in 2018, has encouraged and supported philanthropic endeavours among international investors.
Of course, we need to remain competitive. That is why our legal and technical team continues to work with local stakeholders on a number of key legislative and regulatory developments such as our financial crime strategy, our upcoming MONEYVAL assessment, Limited Partnership legislation and a new Limited Liability Companies structure, to name but a few.
Innovation remains at the heart of what we do in terms of new ideas, products, services and regulation. This approach, backed by excellent relationships between Jersey Finance and its key partners, has allowed us to remain agile, adapting and enhancing our proposition to meet the changing needs of investors worldwide.
The industry’s resilience and ability to innovate have been especially demonstrated by our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the effects of which continue to be felt by communities around the world. Digital adoption continues to play a vital role in ensuring that we, as an industry, effectively provide high levels of service, expertise and delivery in challenging circumstances.
Jersey’s world-class communications network – backed up officially by the world’s fastest fibre broadband connectivity – undoubtedly helps to ensure that businesses within the finance industry can service clients around the world. It is this sort of world-leading connectivity that is proving to be a real ongoing attraction for investors and businesses looking for reliable, certain and stable jurisdictional partners as they rebuild from the pandemic too.
SUSTAINABLE FINANCE CENTRE
Also, as alluded to by our chairman Jason Laity, Jersey Finance launched a sustainable finance strategy in 2021, outlining its vision and ambition to position Jersey as a leading centre in sustainable finance. This year we marked the anniversary of that launch with a week-long series of events on the topic that highlighted the real progress we have made in evolving our framework for sustainable finance. We are well on our journey to make Jersey, as a leading international finance centre, a responsible jurisdiction, able to leverage its expertise and capital to support the transition to a more environmentally and socially sustainable global economy.
Over the coming pages, contributors will outline several key areas for Jersey’s finance industry. What is clear is that the industry we operate in today is not a singular one. It is an increasingly diverse mix of disciplines in increasingly specialist areas. We are fortunate in Jersey to benefit from some of the brightest minds in the field, people who are pushing boundaries, challenging norms and committed to keeping Jersey at the forefront of international finance. The finance industry pioneers of decades ago would likely not have anticipated that by 2022 Jersey would be the diverse financial centre it is today – custodian for some £1.4 trillion of global capital, with more than £1.1 trillion of assets held in Jersey trusts and other asset-holding vehicles*, banking deposits surpassing the £136 billion mark and record levels of alternative funds business of more than £450 billion**.
What is certain is that we will continue to work hard to remain competitive, to innovate, uphold high standards and grow our talented workforce, so that we can maintain our position as a jurisdiction of choice for international investors and their advisers in the years ahead.
On behalf of Jersey Finance, I would like to thank all the contributors who have made this edition possible.
* Jersey’s Contribution to Global Value Chains, 2021
** Figures from the Jersey Financial Services Commission