island sees rise in interest from the middle east
Jersey's attempts to promote itself to international markets has resulted in approaches from several Middle Eastern banks looking to operate from the jurisdiction.
Martyn Scriven, president of the Jersey Banking Association, said the Middle Eastern banks had been in talks with the Jersey Financial Services Commission to obtain a licence allowing them to operate.
He added: "Around three or four Middle Eastern banks have been looking to set themselves up here to be part of the international banking market, following Jersey's decision to actively promote itself to the region.
"These banks will be looking at the international corporate business market in the UK as well as back in the Middle East."
The Jersey Financial Services Commission has been actively promoting itself in Dubai and has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Dubai Financial Services Authority as well as Qatar Central Bank.
The MOU provides a formal framework for mutual assistance and the exchange of information between each regulator to facilitate the enforcement of and compliance with the laws.
Scriven believed the banks were also attracted to Jersey following proposed changes to anti-money laundering regulation.
The changes, which are to be introduced in 2007, will include a greater emphasis on customer due diligence measures, as well as implementing a more customer-friendly way of verifying the identity of a person with greater reliance on a single document to confirm ID in lower-risk circumstances.
Although reform of the anti-money laundering regulation was a positive move for the industry, Scriven said staff would need to be retrained as a result of the changes.
Scriven also felt the introduction of expert funds in 2004 has led to an increase in banks applying for licences in Jersey.
He said many asset management firms felt it was necessary to establish a banking arm in the jurisdiction they were setting up a fund.
Middle Eastern banks in talks with Jersey to establish licences
Middle Eastern banks to target international market
Changes to Jersey's anti-money laundering regulation to be introduced in 2007
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