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IMF ranks Jersey as one of the best jurisdictions globally

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Jersey Finance has welcomed an endorsement from the IMF in its latest review, which has praised Jersey’s high standards of regulation and supervision.

Jersey Finance has welcomed an endorsement from the IMF in its latest review, which has praised Jersey’s high standards of regulation and supervision.

The report, the Financial System Stability Assessment Update, states that Jersey is in the top division of international finance centres, including those in the G20 and EU, and that, where it is possible to make comparisons with other jurisdictions, Jersey is classed as being compliant or largely compliant with 44 of the 49 general FATF recommendations, compared to the UK (36) and Switzerland (33).

It states that Jersey’s laws and regulations have been amended to enhance compliance with international standards and to keep pace with financial sector developments, and confirms that Jersey’s banking system is resilient to a range of shocks and that the financial soundness indicators for banks are satisfactory.

The Jersey Financial Services Commission is also described as conducting its functions in a transparent and accountable manner whilst anti-money laundering rules and measures to counter terrorist financing are described as comprehensive and robust.

Geoff Cook, chief executive, Jersey Finance, says: ‘The IMF has given Jersey’s finance industry a ringing endorsement for the quality of its regulation and legislation, the transparency of its regulatory processes and the robustness and resilience of its banking system.’

In addition, the IMF review has reaffirmed a number of features of Jersey’s regulatory and supervisory regime, referring to Jersey as one of the pioneers of the tax information exchange agreements. It highlights that Jersey’s financial institutions and trust company businesses are well supervised to counter terrorist financing and money laundering and that Jersey’s finance industry has continued to maintain open and co-operative relationships with regulatory authorities overseas.

The IMF also recognises that the Island has no statutory banking secrecy provision and that, ‘with mandatory registration with the Registrar of Companies, Jersey’s finance industry has measures in place to obtain, maintain, and verify beneficial ownership information for companies’.

Cook adds: ‘The facts, independently endorsed by the IMF, speak for themselves. When compared with any other financial jurisdiction, Jersey’s finance industry standards rank at the highest level. For example, Jersey is one of only seven jurisdictions complying with 15 of the 16 Financial Action Taskforce ‘key’ recommendations, the top rating so far attained, and Jersey is the only jurisdiction that has been assessed as compliant with 44 of the general FATF recommendations, closely followed by Singapore (43) and the US (43).

‘Those ill-informed critics of Jersey’s finance industry should be willing to recognise that the standard of Jersey’s financial services regulations and supervisory capabilities are either ahead of, or on a par with, the regulatory positions of both EU member states and G20 countries and that criticisms of Jersey for failings in this regard hold no weight whatsoever.

‘While welcoming these findings, we accept that there is no room for complacency and that further enhancements will be required to meet an evolving regulatory landscape globally, as outlined in the review. The industry in Jersey will continue to play its part in striving to ensure that high standards are maintained.’

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