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Mixed Q1 Results For Jersey's Finance Industry

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
29 May, 2015

Jersey's finance industry performed "steadily" in the first quarter of 2015, with banking deposits reaching their highest level since the summer of 2014, according to Jersey Finance, the industry's financial services promotional agency.

Jersey Finance said that the first quarter figures followed a period of consistent quarterly growth, demonstrating that the overall economic picture in Jersey "is very stable."

The statistics were collated and prepared by the Jersey Financial Services Commission. They show that the total value of banking deposits held in Jersey increased by GBP4.9bn (USD7.5bn) from GBP132.4bn to GBP137.3bn during the first quarter of 2015.

The net asset value of regulated funds under administration decreased by GBP1.9bn from GBP228.9bn to GBP227bn during Q1 2015.

The total number of regulated collective investment funds decreased by one from 1,323 to 1,322 in Q1, and there were 125 active unregulated funds.

The value of total funds under investment management rose slightly to GBP20.9bn at the end of the first quarter of 2015. These figures do not include the total assets under management within the recently introduced Qualifying Segregated Managed Accounts (QSMA) regime, which stood at GBP1.9bn at the end of the quarter.

This was the first quarter that the JFSC has collated data relating to QSMAs and these would otherwise have been reported as funds under investment management.

The total number of live companies on the companies register stood at 32,861 at the end of Q1 2015.

Although the investment fund results are somewhat disappointing, Jersey Finance said that legislation introducing the QSMA regime will help bolster the jurisdiction's standing as a center for hedge fund business.

Geoff Cook, the Chief Executive of Jersey Finance, commented: "Managed accounts are a growth area for Jersey and the recently introduced exemption has been a welcome regulatory development, which has been embraced by fund managers."

Designed to simplify and encourage hedge fund management business in Jersey, the Financial Services (Investment Business (Qualifying Segregated Managed Accounts – Exemption) (Jersey) Order 2014 was signed into law by Jersey's Chief Minister in late November.

The change enables Jersey-registered hedge fund managers to be regulated solely under Jersey's "funds" regulations, and not under the "investment business" regulations, provided the managed accounts meet certain criteria to be "qualifying segregated managed accounts."

In enabling hedge fund managers to offer managed account services to non-fund clients, alongside fund clients, without the need for further regulation, the change allows managers to benefit from Jersey's 0 percent corporate income tax rate without incurring the tax disadvantages of an "investment business" registration.

Concluding his comments, Cook said: "Our strategy of international cooperation and supporting the growing call for greater transparency in financial services continues to make Jersey a safe haven for deposits and our strong commitment to the alternative funds sector will enable us to accelerate growth and create sustainable value for fund managers."

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