Jersey: Country and Foreign Investment
Economy and Currency
The economy is stable and is based largely on financial services, agriculture and tourism; of these, financial services is dominant, accounting for more than half of gross domestic product. The island has a balance of payments surplus, without external debt, and has low unemployment. The finance sector is dominated by banking, fund management and trust management.
The Jersey government statistical report shows that at the end of December 2012, 42 banks held deposits of GBP152.145bn of which GBP56.126bn were sterling deposits.
The Financial Services Commission estimates that 30% of the top 500 European companies and over 10% of the top 700 Asian-Pacific companies used Jersey's financial facilities in 2009. The Government has also encouraged development of light industry, and there is significant activity in the electronics sector.
GDP was an estimated GBP3.7 billion in 2009, and GDP per head was GBP40,000.
According to the Government website, due to the nature of Jersey's economy Gross Value Added (GVA) and Gross National Income (GNI) are now used as performance indicators. Total GVA for 2011 was GBP3.645bn, with GNI estimated to be GBP4.010bn. GVA increased by 2.5% over 2010 and was due to the island's financial sector, which experienced a nominal annual increase of 3%.
The Jersey currency is the pound which is on a par with the British pound; there are no exchange controls.
Nearly 100,000 companies are registered in Jersey, with many more foreign companies administered from the island.
Jersey remains the highest rated offshore international finance centre according to competitive rankings published by the City of London, and was the only offshore jurisdiction in the top twenty in the last report, released in March 2010. In 2010, 2011 and 2012 Jersey was placed 21st in the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) overall.
Geoff Cook, Chief Executive of Jersey Finance Limited, commented:
“Considering the impact of the financial crisis and the scrutiny that has been directed at offshore finance centres, it is extremely encouraging that Jersey has improved its rating and retained its leading position among its offshore rivals. We are now the only jurisdiction in the offshore category in the top twenty so these rankings are very positive for us.”