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Press Release - 23 March 2001

Jersey wins praise from North American Regulators

Three key North American regulators have issued strong endorsements for the quality of Jersey's regulatory and anti money laundering regime and its commitment to the fight against crime.

The US Department of State, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities Commission in British Columbia have unanimously highlighted the high standards of the Jersey Financial Services Commission in fighting financial crime and its cooperative approach in working with other regulatory authorities.

Richard Pratt, Director General of the Jersey Financial Services Commission welcomed the endorsements, saying:

"Such reviews by independent international regulators, based on evaluation and practical experience, are tremendously important. They confirm the substantial progress that has been made in the last few years. This gives us great confidence as we prepare further careful measures to further reinforce the quality and standards of our regulatory processes."

In the 2001 issue of its annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, the US Department of State describes Jersey's service industry as 'sophisticated', adding:

"Jersey has established a comprehensive anti money laundering programme and has demonstrated its commitment for fighting financial crime. Jersey officials co-operate with international anti money laundering authorities".

The report, which analyses anti-money laundering regimes in the majority of jurisdictions around the world, also records that a recent report (carried out by a US, France, Malta, UK team) described Jersey as "close to complete adherence" to the FATF Forty Recommendations.

In a separate endorsement, the Director and Chief Litigation Council of the British Columbia Securities Commission have thanked the Jersey Financial Services Commission for extensive assistance over a long period of time in a particular complex insider dealing case. The Securities Commission states:

"As a result of the co-operation of your authority the British Columia Securities Commission was provided with testimony and documents which enabled it to prove that various registrants promoters and lawyers ... were involved in activities which are in breach of our Securities Act.

"The extent of the co-operation has been remarkable... as a result we have been able to send the message effectively... that use of... the Island of Jersey will not shield {market participants} from breaching the Securities Law of the province of British Columbia.

These endorsements follow commentary in the February 2001 edition of the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin which described Jersey as having a:

"...well regulated financial industry, money laundering legislation in place and a demonstrated willingness to co-operate with and provide assistance to foreign authorities".

The commentary quotes the Jersey authorities as confirming that: "When there is an international investigation into financial fraud we are not prepared to allow Jersey to be the place where the trail goes cold".

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