Gulf deposits in Jersey top $33bn
Manama, July 5, 2012
Total deposits from the Gulf countries in Jersey, one of the world’s leading international finance centres, reached GBP21.2 billion ($33.1 billion), accounting for 14 per cent of total deposits in Jersey's financial sector, said a report.
That represents a growth of 11 per cent in Gulf deposits since the opening of the Jersey Finance regional office in Abu Dhabi last year.
Statistics collated and prepared by the island's financial regulator, the Jersey Financial Services Commission, for the period ending March 31 showed that GBP21.2 billion in deposits were recorded in Jersey from the Gulf, up from GBP19 billion at the end of 2010.
It reflects a more long-standing trend which has seen bank deposits attracted to Jersey from the Gulf nearly double in the last five years.
Jersey's attractiveness as an international finance centre for deposits has been further enhanced by the decision of the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) towards the end of last year to open a branch in Jersey to attract offshore deposits.
This is the latest in a string of high- profile Gulf-based financial institutions expanding into Jersey - a sign that Gulf institutions see clear benefits of the stable and secure jurisdiction.
'There are around 15 banks and trust companies with offices in Jersey which are represented in the Gulf and Emirates NBD, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi and ADCB are among those Gulf-based institutions with a presence in Jersey,' said Jersey Finance representative for the Gulf region and India Sean Costello.
'This two-way representation illustrates the growing commercial ties between the locations, a factor which has been further reinforced by the ongoing visits to the Gulf by senior representatives from Jersey's government to meet leading officials and finance practitioners.
'Jersey Finance's profile-raising activities have contributed, in part, to the higher figures for the Gulf, which are a firm indicator that Jersey and its strong banking brands provide the stable, secure and appropriately regulated jurisdiction that international investors are seeking,' Costello added.
He said he was unaware of any Bahrain financial institution with offices in Jersey but suspected a reasonable amount of money was invested there from the kingdom.
Asked why people who lived in what was effectively a tax-free region would seek to invest in a state regarded as a tax haven, Costello said Jersey had a lot to offer as a home for funds.
'Investment in Jersey from the Gulf attracts private investors as well as expatriates,' he said.
'They are attracted by the fact it allows them to diversify their investments to a state that has a financial system that is safe, secure and well-regulated with a government which guarantees bank deposits,' he added.
Jersey Finance, which represents Jersey's finance industry, opened its first office in the Gulf in Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of 2011 and has since used it as a hub for developing closer ties throughout the Middle East. Since then there have been agreements signed which also foster greater commercial activity between Jersey and the region. – TradeArabia News Service