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Switzerland and Jersey 'Alp' each other out in fight against financial crime

Switzerland and Jersey 'Alp' each other out in fight against financial crime

Saturday 09 March 2024

Switzerland and Jersey 'Alp' each other out in fight against financial crime

Saturday 09 March 2024


Tackling financial crime, agriculture, and the tunnel project were all topics of conversation during the visit of Swiss Ambassador Markus Leitner to Jersey.

Markus Leitner met leaders in the financial services industry on Wednesday and Thursday this week, as well as the Island’s Swiss community.

Though it was his first visit to the island, he said he had heard many stories about it growing up – as his mother had worked as an au-pair in Jersey in 1961.

“We’re not in the business of exporting a Swiss model, telling people how to do things better,” he said.

“I think for us, it’s better to share notes. We’re both economies outside the European Union, so we have similar questions, similar challenges sometimes, definitely the same interlocutors in Brussels.”

He added that the two international finance centres had recently collaborated to block money involved in international corruption cases.

“One topic that we have in common is that we are serious about fighting financial crimes,” he said.

“This is a joint experience that we have and I want to strengthen that cooperation.

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Pictured: Ambassador Markus Leitner with first secretary, financial affairs, Edouard Laurent (Rob Currie)

“We are together in this. We’re serious financial centres that don’t want to be abused by both financial criminals.”

Though the main topic broached during the visit was the financial services industry, Mr Leitner added that the two jurisdictions could compare experiences with agriculture and infrastructure projects.

“It’s interesting to see the big projects: the wind farm, the tunnel project.

“We are a country of tunnels. So it is interesting to us to see what Jersey is thinking around this. 

“I don’t know if this will come to fruition. But these are interesting developments, for us as well.”

Mr Leitner met members of the government, the Bailiff, Jersey Finance, the JFSC, a number of Swiss finance companies and Visit Jersey.

The Swiss delegation also visited several cultural sites, including a grave in St Martin where David Bandinel, the first Anglican Dean of Jersey who was originally from Geneva, is buried.

They got an express tour through La Hougue Bie museum, including crawling into the chamber and bunker – and with wife Doris taking pictures of the museum signs, the delegation would have plenty of reading to catch up on later.

Pictured - top: Volunteer Peter Morgan gives a tour of La Hougue Bie to Swiss Ambassador Markus Leitner. (Rob Currie)

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