Jersey’s finance industry brings together community engagement and international ambition. An article by Joe Moynihan, CEO, Jersey Finance.
With the finance industry in Jersey marking its 60th anniversary in 2021, it’s an appropriate time to reflect on the relationship it has had, and continues to have, on Jersey’s identity as a whole. In many ways, the industry epitomises the ambition Jersey has always had, even long before the industry came into existence, both at home and abroad, and an ability to adapt to external forces with the resources available to it as an Island.
It’s an ambition that really has enabled Jersey to consistently punch above its weight as a centre for investment and commerce on the international stage. It’s almost taken for granted now, but the fact that Jersey regularly wins awards for the quality of its financial services expertise and its regulatory standards alongside major nations and the fact that it continues to grow despite intense competition from around the world, is really quite impressive.
Today, there are 23 banking institutions operating in Jersey, combined holding around £120bn of deposits from islanders and customers all over the world; there is a network of global fund administration businesses, servicing global investment assets valued at more than £400bn; and trust and fiduciary companies here hold around £600bn of assets.
In total, more than £1.3 trillion of global capital is managed through Jersey entities, coming from investors in Europe, the US, Africa and Asia. Reflecting the global nature of our business, more than half of all new business booked in Jersey now comes from markets beyond Europe. Jersey is a truly internationally focused centre for financial services, helping to put investor capital to work where it is needed most, in a well-regulated, efficient way.
At the same time, the industry complements that international ambition with an acute awareness of the responsibility it has to the local community. Indeed, the slogan for Jersey Finance’s 20th anniversary this year is ‘together we shine’, because we recognise that the industry is not distinct or separate from the rest of the Island, it is very much integrated with the rest of the community. The fortunes of the Island are inextricably tied with those of the industry and vice versa.
As the Island’s largest employer, for instance, over 13,500 people employed in the industry invariably have connections and play their own roles across the community – through charity work, arts initiatives or sporting endeavours, for example.
This is true at a corporate level too – the firms that make up Jersey’s finance industry are proud to be part of Island life, supporting the economy and Islanders in building a prosperous future, by:
- Providing jobs and opportunities for Islanders, young and old
- Helping build a stronger economy for the whole community
- Creating jobs and supporting local businesses
- Working within the community on local corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives
For instance, the industry contributes more than half (57%) of all taxes raised on the Island, tax that helps provide vital services for everyone on the Island and £1 million a day is spent by the finance industry on local goods and services.
We are likely to see that close connection between the industry and the island’s fortunes emerge in new ways over the coming years too – not least in the ambitious targets Jersey’s government has set in addressing climate change and achieving net zero emissions.
Earlier in 2021, Jersey Finance launched its sustainable finance strategy and what is clear is that that strategy cannot be undertaken without the support of islanders. Equally, the government’s vision cannot be realised without the support of the finance industry. It’s another reflection of how when the industry does well, the island does well. It’s really important that, despite being the biggest economic contributor (almost 40% of GVA) in Jersey, Jersey’s finance industry is not seen as an external, separate part of the fabric of Jersey life. The industry and those that work in it are very much part of the community, and it is our belief that the dynamism, ambition, outward looking mentality of our industry, balanced with a real sense of belonging and pride in Jersey, is a blend that many islanders would share and recognise as Jersey traits.
It’s why Jersey Finance continues to work with key partners both locally and internationally to maintain Jersey’s status as a world-class international finance centre and ensure that our financial services eco-system is well placed to continue to support Jersey’s future prosperity and underpin our unique island characteristics.