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Dispute Over Viability Of Jersey's IFC Project

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
03 November, 2015

Jersey's Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel has said Jersey's new international finance center complex (JIFC) is not financially viable, in comments regarding a first building – Building 4 – that is being constructed and the wider plans.

Scrutiny released a report based on an assessment carried out by Ernst and Young. Scrutiny's report said that the overall project for delivery of the JIFC is not considered viable and said its experts had expressed severe reservations as to whether there will be sufficient demand to fill the JIFC in any reasonable time period and questioned the market's ability to absorb the total amount of space proposed.

In response, Jersey's Deputy Chief Minister, Andrew Green, stated: "It is disappointing that the Panel have chosen not to base their findings and recommendations on the professional E&Y report – which the Panel commissioned - as a whole but, instead have chosen only to select areas that support a negative conclusion."

"Contrary to the Scrutiny Panel's findings, on the basis of the evidence of professional viability and valuation assessments, it is clear that JIFC Building 4 is financially viable."

"It is not clear how the Panel's conclusions reconcile with the E&Y report. That report – which is to be welcomed – fully assesses the viability of building 4. Even using a low valuation, the Panel's own advisors show that the building does generate a profit."

He concluded that: "A successful Jersey International Finance Centre remains an important part of the approved States Strategic Plan to deliver economic growth, provide jobs and income for services, and regenerate [the capital] St Helier."

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