While the Panama Papers led to headlines about the offshore world, the work that has been done to carve out Jersey as a financial services centre that bases its reputation and 'sales pitch' on the strength and quality of its regulation is continuing to pay off.

Positive statements about the level of regulation have come from EU Trade Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, former Prime Minister David Cameron and groups such as Moneyval and the European Securities and Markets Authority. This is recognition that Jersey's standards meet and often exceed those of onshore centres.

That work is going to continue – the only way to maintain Jersey's reputation is by continuing to strengthen the country's regulatory frameworks and apparatus. Jersey's "early adopter" status as regards to the Common Reporting Standard is a good example of this, but the work is constant.

The 2016 response to the Panama Papers has shown that discerning private clients are looking to jurisdictions such as Jersey because of:

  • the high quality of the island's regulation;
  • the courts' reputation; and
  • the responsive nature of the legislature with regard to the need to amend existing laws and create new legislation.

On that final point, amendments to the trusts law are expected soon. Further, it is hoped that the remaining elements of the new charities law will be introduced in due course.

While it can be discouraging to see bad reports of the offshore world in the popular press, Jersey's position and reputation have been acknowledged by key decision makers.

Themes for 2017 include work for international families looking for bespoke structures to facilitate succession planning, asset protection and wealth structuring – particularly out of the Middle East and parts of the world that have seen instability and uncertainty. It is encouraging to see the levels of interest in the Jersey foundation law, in particular.

For further information on this topic please contact Steve Meiklejohn at Ogier by telephone (+44 1534 504 000) or email (steve.meiklejohn@ogier.com). The Ogier website can be accessed at www.ogier.com.

An early version of this article first appeared in Business Brief.

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