Jersey: What Does Jersey Have To Offer?

Last Updated: 23 April 2001
Article by Anthony Dessain

The best means of describing yourself is to find out what others say about you.

These are a few findings from independent sources

  • The Edwards Report of 1998

"I found widespread agreement that the Islands are in the top division of offshore finance centres".

"The Islands score highly on political stability. For many centuries these have been dependencies of the Crown without ever being part of the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is responsible for their defence and external relations and, in general terms, for their good government. By long established constitutional convention, however, they are independent in matters of domestic policy."

"All the Island Parliaments have set firm objectives to have well regulated finance centres with effective and up to date legal, judicial and regulatory frameworks. There has been general agreement that high standards of regulation are not only an absolute obligation for any world-class finance centre, on-shore or offshore but also in the best interests of the Islands themselves and their industries."

  • The Financial Stability Forum Report of 2000

"The term "offshore" carries with it in some quarters a perception of dubious or nefarious activities. There are, however, highly reputable OFCs that actively aspire to and apply internationally accepted practices, and there are some legitimate uses of OFCs. OFCs are not homogenous and there is a wide variety of practices found in them"

Incidentally it also said:

"OFCs, to date, do not appear to have been a major casual factor in the creation of systemic financial problems."

The Financial Stability Forum placed Jersey in Group I that is a jurisdiction generally named as co-operative, with a high quality of supervision, which largely adheres to international standards.

  • The Financial Action Task Force Evaluation Report of June 2000 -

After a full and proper evaluation the FATF 2000 Report concluded Jersey was co-operative in the fight against money laundering which, unlike many OECD countries, includes foreign tax frauds.

  • The House Of Lords And House Of Commons At Westminster

Many statements in the House of Lords and House of Commons over many years and recently have confirmed the independent status of the Island to legislate on all domestic matters including taxation.

What is the evidence?

Success does not happen by accident so what are the reasons for Jersey's success?

What is the infrastructure like?

The constitutional history and right to govern independently have existed for very many centuries and have been confirmed many times in the last fifty years.

The Island's Parliament has 52 democratically elected representatives.

The Royal Court of Jersey is one of the oldest Courts in Europe and sits regularly. There is an appeal to the Channel Islands Court of Appeal and ultimately to the Privy Council.

There are some 210 Jersey lawyers and perhaps 100 English lawyers.

There are over 500 accountants with recognised English qualifications.

There are 240 trust companies.

There are 74 banks employing about 5000 personnel.

The total numbers engaged in the finance industry number approximately 10,000.

A co-ordinating and facilitating body known as the Jersey Finance Industry Association (JFIA) comprises members of the:

  • Jersey Law Society
  • Jersey Society of Chartered and Certified Accountants
  • Jersey Bankers Association
  • Jersey Fund Managers Association
  • Jersey Association of Trust Companies
  • English Solicitors Association
  • Jersey Offshore Insurance Association
  • Association of Private Clients, Investment Managers and Stockbrokers
  • Jersey Life & Pensions
  • Jersey Taxation Society

In addition there are various Institutes such as the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and the Institute of Marketing with active membership.

The Jersey Financial Services Commission regulates bankers, insurers, investment advisors and, since 1 February, 2001 trust and company creators and administrators. The standards are equivalent to U.K. and best international practices.

There are a number of up to date statutes to prevent and detect abuse such as money laundering, drug trafficking, terrorism, fraud and insider dealing.

There is no unemployment.

There is no national debt. Crime is low.

It is a safe and pretty place to live and work with good hotels and excellent restaurants.

The expertise and experience over 40 years - a generation and a half - is excellent and it increases as time passes.

Except for customs and certain other limited aspects none of the EU rules and regulations apply to the Island by virtue of Protocol 3 to the Treaty of Rome.

The flexibility and uses to which companies, trusts, partnerships, limited partnerships and other structures provide reasons for continuing and new opportunities.

Corporate and institutional business finds Jersey an attractive place to do business.

Large and well known names whether with or with out a presence in the Island and others which use the facilities offered bear testimony to the respectability, legitimacy and high standing that Jersey enjoys.

The distinction between offshore and onshore is becoming blurred. The new distinction is between countries that are well regulated and unregulated.

Jersey joins the group of major countries in the west providing financial facilities and benefits to the International community. Jersey wishes to be part of that community and will abide by top international practices and standards.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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