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Jersey Law To Shore Up Financial Center's Reputation

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
19 May, 2014

Jersey has proposed legislative amendments to allow for the more rapid implementation of EU and UN sanctions by the island's financial center, but some fear the measures could lead to a loss of sovereignty.

The legislative change follows a 2009 International Monetary Fund (IMF) review of the regulation of Jersey's financial services industry, which included specific recommendations on the effectiveness of implementing UNSCR sanctions, and on extending the scope of such sanctions to apply to all regulated financial services in Jersey.

The new legislation is being introduced ahead of the forthcoming Moneyval review in September 2014, which will examine the steps taken to act on the IMF recommendations. This review creates a new imperative for ensuring a more effective and speedy introduction of sanctions measures.

The measures will be introduced through the enactment of the European Union Legislation Implementation (Jersey) Law, which will replace the Legislation (Implementation) (Jersey) Law 1996 and amend the European Communities (Jersey) Law 1973.

The new position is essentially the same as under the old law insofar as it still requires that the implementation of sanctions will require ministerial consent, but it seeks to make the process simpler. New powers will allow minor or administrative amendments to be expedited without such bureaucracy, and will cover changes to the listing of designated persons or entities under sanctions orders.

The proposed amendments, however, have aroused concern locally about Jersey's relationship with and autonomy from the EU.

Senator Sarah Ferguson said: "We are not in the EU and it is for this reason we must provide members with the provenance of legislation. The UK has all but surrendered its sovereignty and we should guard ours more carefully."

Deputy Sam Mezec said: "If Senator Ferguson can support this then I can too, but the whole relationship [with the EU] needs a good look at after this. I think there should be a public debate about what we want our relationship with the EU to be in the future."


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