A centre of green finance

Jersey continues to play to its strengths as a well-regulated and responsible international financial centre

March 24, 2021
Saint Helier, Jersey © Allard Schager / Alamy Stock Photo
Saint Helier, Jersey © Allard Schager / Alamy Stock Photo

With a leading financial services industry and growing digital sector – woven into the fabric of our small island, alongside fascinating threads of history and the ribbon of picturesque coastline all around – Jersey is well placed to play its part in supporting the world’s journey to financial recovery.

Last year saw the 75th anniversary of Jersey’s Liberation from Nazi occupation during the Second World War. Yet who could have foreseen that this poignant occasion would have to be marked online, from living rooms around the Island?

2020 was, of course, a strange and difficult year for jurisdictions around the globe. Thankfully, as 2021 wears on, better days are coming into view. Thanks to the widespread efforts of the Island community, aided by our on-arrival testing system and welcome support from the UK on PPE, medicines and now vaccines, case numbers have shrunk to a low level. Yet the Island has certainly not been left unscathed, having sadly recorded 69 deaths among a population of just over 105,000. Each must be remembered as a tragedy.

While the challenging events of the pandemic can never be forgotten, Jersey is also focusing on the role it can and must play as the world starts on the road to financial recovery – supporting both the UK and international partners as they rebuild their economies, renew trade links and restore livelihoods.

For Jersey, the way ahead is underpinned by the Island’s participation in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, finalised between the UK and the European Union at the end of 2020. At the same time, Jersey is taking its place in the UK’s trade agreements with other countries, so that Jersey’s iconic exports, including the famous Jersey Royal potato, can be enjoyed by consumers in more overseas markets without tariffs.

Alongside this, the creation of a dedicated Global Markets team within the Government of Jersey has increased the Island’s ability to develop the sustainable relationships, and the legal and political framework, on which international business depends. These efforts are already bearing fruit – for Jersey, for the UK and for our international partners – and we look forward to the opportunities ahead.

As the UK and the wider British family find their new place in the world in the post-Brexit era, Jersey will continue to play to its traditional strengths as a responsible and well-regulated international financial centre, directing investment into the UK in order to support financial recovery there.

Equally, Jersey’s growing expertise as a centre of green finance will allow the Island to play its part in building a more environmentally sustainable future economy – going hand-in-hand with domestic ambitions to reach net zero carbon as soon as 2030, and the work of Jersey Overseas Aid in conservation and environmental protection.

New industries are growing up too. Jersey’s digital sector continues to flourish, supported by the Island’s outstanding fibre-to-the-home connectivity, and reinvigorated by the rapid growth in online activity driven by the pandemic. 

Working closely with industry and our delivery partner, Digital Jersey, we are committed to encouraging new entrants into the sector by cutting back red tape and making it easier to develop innovative digital business in Jersey. The Government is also supporting efforts to improve online skills and access to digital platforms in schools, further boosting the connectivity of our close-knit Island community and helping young people to obtain the skills needed to thrive in their professional lives.

This year, Jersey looks ahead with hope. Perhaps once again this summer, the desire to holiday closer to home may encourage more UK tourists to re-discover the delights of Jersey as a welcoming, sunny and vibrant tourist destination on their doorstep, and yet within sight of the Normandy coast. Where prehistoric and medieval heritage sites nestle alongside exquisite hospitality and some of the finest beaches in Europe. Set on an Island which, fundamentally, seeks to play its part in supporting the UK and partners around the world on the road to financial recovery.

This article is featured in Prospect’s new “The Road to Recovery” report, published in partnership with Lloyds Banking Group, the Government of Jersey and Jersey Finance. Read the full report PDF here.