How Jersey Adds Value to the Global Economy
Dr Alan Whitehead MP speaks at the Jersey Finance Parliamentary Reception. Credit: Tom Hampson, Visual Eye
Jersey is a small place making a big impact.
For more than six decades, this small self-governing crown dependency has been a financial engine for the global economy, providing the capital to support businesses, generate growth, and create jobs.
A recent Parliamentary reception brought together political leaders and key figures from the jurisdiction’s financial sector to turn the spotlight on how Jersey’s financial services industry adds value to the UK economy.
The gathering both celebrated the past and explored the future, confirming the potentially critical role that Jersey’s financial sector can play in supporting Britain as a global economic force.
Welcoming people to the event, Alan Whitehead MP, co-chair of the Channel Islands APPG, reminded attendees of the rapid journey Jersey has made to become the “extraordinary international financial powerhouse that we see today”.
Having a leading global financial centre on the nation’s doorstep will be an increasingly important asset, helping spread wealth and growth across the UK as a whole
Joe Moynihan, Chief Executive of Jersey Finance, the body that represents and promotes Jersey as an International Finance Centre, provided figures that backed up Whitehead’s assessment of the jurisdiction’s importance.
Moynihan set out the findings from a recent Cebr report that quantified the value Jersey’s financial sector adds to the UK economy and to global economies.
“Jersey’s combined financial sector manages and services a total of £1.44 trillion,” he explained to attendees. “This supports more than £170bn of global GDP each year, sustains 5.1 million jobs worldwide, and supports more than £73bn in associated wages of ordinary people in all corners of the globe.”
These figures are highly impressive. And they happen to be great news for Britain too.
That is because, due to the strong, historic relationship the island enjoys with the UK mainland, the biggest economic winner from Jersey’s success is ultimately the UK itself. Moynihan told the reception that, during the 2017-2020 period studied by Cebr, Jersey’s financial sector generated £62bn in UK GDP each year and supported almost a million UK jobs.
“For centuries, Jersey has valued its close ties to the UK,” Moynihan explains “These figures provide an up-to-date picture that demonstrates just how strong those ties are. As we look forward to the future, our ambitions remain very much aligned with a global Britain.”
With continuing economic uncertainty, and the UK preparing itself for a new future outside of the European Union, these historic ties are now set to become more important than ever.
Indeed, Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski sees a direct parallel between Jersey’s freedom to innovate and the freedoms which the wider UK can benefit from in a post-Brexit economy.
“You do things your own way. Have your own autonomy,” says Kawczynski. “That is one of the reasons you have been so successful.”
Deputy Ian Gorst, Jersey’s Minister for Treasury and Resources, agrees with Kawczynski that autonomy is a critical part of Jersey’s success story. However, he also argues that the strong and enduring relationship between the island and the UK is of equal importance.
“Jersey is proud of its autonomy,” he says. “But we are also proudly British. Financial services are a force for good in our communities. We can partner, and do partner, with you in the mission of Global Britain.”
As Britain seeks to develop new trading relationships and establish new sectors in digital and low carbon technologies, access to capital will be key. That is why having a leading global financial centre on the nation’s doorstep will be an increasingly important asset, helping spread wealth and growth across the UK as a whole.
It is a role that Jersey’s financial sector stands ready to fulfil.
You can read Cebr’s report ‘Jersey’s Contribution to Global Value Chains’ here.
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