Jersey makes new assurances on growth

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The Independent Online
JERSEY yesterday made a renewed attempt to allay fears that its immigration controls restrict the scope for growth of financial services companies that set up there.

Jersey has sought to control its population growth by imposing a ceiling on the size of its workforce. Although employment levels have stagnated because of the recession, rival offshore financial centres have suggested Jersey cannot offer businesses the scope for growth.

Pierre Horsfall, Jersey's finance minister, said the island was 'very much open for business' and keen to attract quality institutions.

Colin Powell, chief adviser to the island's parliament, said there was no evidence that Jersey would be unable to support future growth. The workforce was 'well below' 48,000 - the ceiling - and firms were achieving improvements in productivity.

Jersey's financial community includes 66 banks, which have deposits totalling pounds 48bn, investment funds of pounds 13.3bn and trust companies administering more than pounds 50bn.

Jersey will next month introduce the international business company, a structure by which multinationals will be able to reduce the tax they pay on inter-company financing. IBCs will pay a maximum tax on profits of only 2 per cent, falling to 0.5 per cent on profits of more than pounds 10m.