Capital city: Saint Helier
Currency: Pound sterling (GBP)
Language: English & French
GDP $6 b USD (2015)
Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey, is a Crown dependency of the United Kingdom, located off the coast of Normandy, France. Jersey was part of the Duchy of Normandy whose dukes went on to become kings of England from 1066. After Normandy was lost by the kings of England in the 13th century, and the ducal title surrendered to France, Jersey and the other Channel Islands remained attached to the English crown.
Jersey is a self-governing parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy, with its own financial, legal and judicial systems, and the power of self-determination. Although the bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey are often referred to collectively as the Channel Islands, the “Channel Islands” are not a constitutional or political unit. Jersey is not part of the United Kingdom.
Jersey’s offshore finance industry opened for business in the late 1950’s and has now grown to hold £220bn of deposits, administer another £221bn of funds, as well as hundreds of billions in trusts. In 2008 Jersey abolished taxes for all companies except financial firms (which pay 10%) and utilities (which were left with the 20% rate). The two main tax bands gave the policy its name: Zero-10. A 5% sales tax rate introduced in 2008 now raises more Government revenue than the tax on companies. Due to widespread bank scandals the US, Britain and the EU have since obliged Jersey to exchange information on any citizens using the island’s banks. Chief Minister of Jersey Ian Gorst and other officials insist that the island is now more transparent than many onshore jurisdictions.
"You’d be stupid not to try to cut your tax bill and those that don’t are stupid in business"
- Bono: U2