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Jersey To Invest In Financial Services Sector

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Jersey government has announced that it is to invest fiscal stimulus funds to protect jobs in the island's finance industry.

In total GBP2.42m (USD3.6m) will be invested into projects to protect and develop the island’s financial services sector as it comes under increasing pressure from the effects of the global downturn and the proposed European Union (EU) regulatory changes.

The fund is to be used by the Chief Minister’s department and the Economic Development department, to protect Jersey’s most important industry from external threats, and to develop new business with emerging markets overseas as well as to promote inward investment.

It is expected that the move will enable the island to better control its future. For example, funds will be used to strengthen the island’s influence in Brussels to raise awareness of Jersey as a well-regulated jurisdiction and to seek to counter any threats to continued EU market access, including the City of London. Grants will also be awarded to Jersey Finance Limited by the Economic Development Department to support a range of initiatives including plans to open a third overseas office in addition to London and Hong Kong.

The Economic Development Minister, Alan Maclean, commented:

“It is extremely important for the island’s economy that we support its main industry through these difficult times.”

“The finance industry directly contributes 53% of Jersey’s wealth and employs 13,000 islanders and much more when the indirect impacts on other sectors in the economy are taken into account. This money will be used to protect these jobs and those elsewhere in the economy and promote inward investment which will help companies in Jersey survive the global financial crisis. I believe it will help achieve one of the key aims of the fiscal stimulus, which is to lay the foundations for future economic growth and employment across the economy.”

Jersey Treasury Minister, Philip Ozouf, added: “These fiscal stimulus funds will be used to manage the risk of adverse impacts on Jersey arising as a result of new regulation and legislation by the EU and other major trading blocs. By doing this, we are taking the necessary steps to protect Jersey’s existing industry while looking at new opportunities to develop business in strongly growing economies such as India and China.”

“We cannot ignore the external threats which our island faces. By investing this money in support of our major industry, we hope to help preserve and expand our economy which is to the benefit of all islanders.”