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Jersey Announces Fall In Deposits

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Jersey Financial Services Commission (FSC) has released statistics showing that bank deposits and funds held in Jersey have fallen sharply, although Jersey Finance, the island's promotional body for the finance industry, has stressed that despite the negative figures, largely the result of the financial crisis, there are signs that some confidence is returning to the market.

The statistics collated and prepared by the Jersey FSC for the period ending December 31, 2009, show that bank deposits decreased by GBP40.9bn (-19.8%) over the twelve-month period to GBP165.2bn, and by -2% compared to the figure for September 30, 2009.

Specialist funds, including hedge, private equity and real estate funds, have grown on the previous quarter by GBP2bn to now account for just over 70% of the total value of funds under administration, showing early signs of recovery. Whilst the net asset value of funds has decreased by 31% when compared to the same period last year, the value is up slightly (1.9%) on the previous quarter to now stand at GBP166.2bn. Although specific data relating to Unregulated Funds is not currently available, a total of 61 such funds were established by the end of 2009, an increase of 3.4% from the previous quarter.

The value of funds under investment management increased from GBP18.4bn to GBP19.7bn (4.4%) during the year 2009.

The total number of live companies on the register decreased by 2,005 (-6%) during 2009 from 33,395 to 31,390.

Geoff Cook, Chief Executive of Jersey Finance, commented:

“2009 has been an extremely challenging year for the financial services industry worldwide and, inevitably, the effects of the economic downturn have impacted Jersey. The decrease of almost 20% for Jersey’s banking deposits during 2009 is hardly surprising given the very low level of interest rates throughout the year. The funds sector has also experienced a challenging year, with new deals in particular being less forthcoming given the uncertainty in the markets globally.”

“Overall though, we must be confident that the statistics in their raw form do not represent the whole picture. Funds values are beginning to show signs of recovery and there has been a modest increase in assets under investment management. Employment numbers in the finance sector continue to hold up well, with only a 2% decrease in numbers shown by the manpower statistics, considerably below that of our onshore colleagues. Whilst tough, 2009 gave rise to some excellent accolades for Jersey, such as the IMF report, which can only boost future revenue streams during 2010. It is therefore crucial that we continue to maintain momentum and promote Jersey actively in key markets this year.”