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Wealthy immigrants ‘driven to seek stable jurisdictions’

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POLITICAL turmoil across the world is encouraging more wealthy people to move to ‘stable, well-run’ and business-friendly jurisdictions like Jersey, the Economic Development Minister has said.

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich recently received Jersey residency

Senator Lyndon Farnham said that events such as the election of Donald Trump in America, Brexit and shock results in European elections had led to a massive change in the ‘political landscape’ in recent years.

And he added that such factors were likely to be behind the increasing numbers of wealthy people applying to become ‘high-value residents’ in the Island.

His comments come after his Guernsey counterpart, Deputy Charles Parkinson, claimed that Brexit and the possibility of a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government could be driving more wealthy individuals to relocate to the Channel Islands.

Deputy Parkinson’s views were echoed by Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell, who said that Mr Corbyn’s election could drive wealthy individuals to seek location in business-friendly jurisdictions.

In 2017, 34 applications to become high-value residents in Jersey were approved by the Chief Minister’s Department – double the number seen in the previous year. The most notable approval was for Russian billionaire and Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich.

Senator Farnham said that the increased interest in moving to Jersey was likely to be driven by increasing political uncertainty across the world.

‘I think the world is quite a different place from what it was two or three years ago. There has been a change of the political landscape in the UK, US and Europe,’ he said.

‘You have had Brexit, the election of Donald Trump and shock election results in Europe. More people are looking at a place like Jersey, which is a secure and stable jurisdiction.

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‘If you ask me, the political landscape changed in the UK the day David Cameron announced there would be a referendum on membership of the EU. The result was a shock to many and resulted in his resignation. So it’s no surprise that more people are looking to relocate to somewhere like Jersey, which is known to be well-run and politically stable.’

He added: ‘We welcome global businesses to Jersey as an international business centre, and not just in the financial services sector but in all sectors, because we want to generate a variety of job opportunities for Islanders.’

A States spokesman added that changes to the ‘non-dom’ tax rules – for foreign residents living in the UK – could also be encouraging more wealthy individuals to move to Jersey.

‘Every individual has his or her own set of reasons for making the decision to relocate to a new jurisdiction,’ he said.

‘That said, though, it would not be surprising if changes to the political landscape, the unknown impact of Brexit and changes to the “non-dom” rules in the United Kingdom all proved to be key influences for those who decided to relocate to Jersey under our high-value residency regime in 2017.’

Neither Senator Farnham or the States’ spokesman commented about whether the prospect of a Corbyn government was encouraging more wealthy people to seek Jersey residency rights.

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
author

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