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Jersey in the Westminster Spotlight

Friday 23 July 2010 by

Jersey's finance industry was recognised today in a MP's Debate in Westminster Hall regarding offshore financial centres.

The Debate was brought forward by Mark Field, the Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, who proposed that the debate on the role of small IFCs had been remarkably one-sided to date and had demonstrated a fundamental lack of understanding of their function and the proven benefits they provide to the wider global economy. He also dispelled many of the myths associated with IFCs, and mentioned Jersey specifically, commenting:

"An IMF review of Jersey's regulatory standards in September last year concluded that Jersey was in the "top division" of financial centres and gave it the highest ranking ever achieved by a financial centre in terms of its compliance with FAFT recommendations."

He also recognised that Jersey had a "positive effect on the wider UK economy" and that the island (Jersey) "provides a conduit through which mobile capital from around the world can be aggregated and invested, primarily in London". He stated that "much of this liquidity simply would not reach the UK but for the relationship between professionals in the City and in Jersey."

Responding to the speech, Mark Hoban MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, recognised the progress that had been made by the British overseas territories and acknowledged the importance of such centres to London.

Commenting on the Debate, Geoff Cook, Chief Executive of Jersey Finance, said:

"The debate in Westminster today very clearly demonstrated the importance of Jersey's financial services industry, especially with relation to the vital role that Jersey provides to the City of London's transaction chain. Mark Field MP also acknowledged that Jersey is a significant provider of administrative and legal services to international businesses active in the City, citing the recent Vallar IPO (a Jersey company), which successfully raised more than £700 million and is one of the most significant IPOs to come to market in London so far this year.   

"It is also very encouraging that Mark Field MP outlined that the beneficial role that IFCs play in the global economy and called for recognition of this at the G20 Summit in Korea. This is further positive recognition of the high regulatory and supervisory standards that Jersey has."