FINANCE firms will suffer damage to both their reputation and their bottom line if they do not properly apply new sanctions against Russia, the External Relations Minister has warned.
Jersey is following the UK as it applies a raft of financial penalties to individuals and firms linked to the Putin regime, with more than 100 asset-freeze and travel orders applied this week as part of an international effort alongside allies such as the US and EU.
Senator Ian Gorst said that companies which did not act on the sanctions would face legal action.
‘Financial service institutions would lose out if they didn’t comply with the asset freezes because it’s a criminal offence and it would very much affect their bottom line,’ he said.
‘They would find themselves ultimately in a court process, which would be very bad for their reputation and for business. There is an obligation upon services to comply with the sanctions regime.
‘Day in and day out, we have sanctions in place and they are appropriately notified to relevant authorities. And then of course these sectors are also supervised by the Jersey Financial Services Commission.’
The minister would not confirm whether any assets had been frozen within the Island since the new sanctions were applied on the basis that he believed a ‘running commentary’ was not necessary.
‘This is not just an issue that Jersey will play its part in,’ he said. ‘We will play our part and we will sanction individuals and companies aligned with the UK and the international community in the way that we have said.’
Senator Gorst added that applying the sanctions properly would ‘enhance’ Jersey’s international reputation.
‘If there are monies, assets or individuals here that are connected in the way that intelligence agencies tell us they are, we want them to be subject to this package of measures in an appropriate way,’ he said.