Jersey’s online fund applications process could ‘revolutionize’ sector

New technology and tools should speed up the authorization process.

Recent changes to the Jersey private funds regime could usher in instant online approval of funds on the island.

The regime for authorizing funds has been adapted to make it possible to submit applications online and the Jersey Financial Services Commission has launched an online application tool for funds to fast-track their products. The JFSC anticipates all applications and notifications will be paper-free by early 2019.

The Jersey Funds Association says the changes and new technology will significantly speed up the authorization process and have the potential to “revolutionize” the sector.

The JPF [Jersey private fund] has already proven to be a hugely popular fund structure amongst professional and institutional investors, with around 130 having been established in just over a year since its launch, [with some of these] being used to target EU investors,” said Mike Byrne, chairman of the JFA. “The ability to make applications online will undoubtedly make it even more attractive for managers, speeding up authorization turnaround times significantly and making the whole process more efficient. It really is revolutionary for Jersey’s funds industry, particularly in the current market where managers frequently need to bring their funds to market quickly and, ahead of Brexit, are looking for centres than can guarantee them rapid, efficient support. This tool also lays the foundation for future online capabilities right across the funds sector.”

Last month Jersey moved to allay fears that funds based in the UK crown dependency wouldn’t be able to do business with the rest of Europe following statements by ministers that a “no-deal” Brexit was the likely outcome of UK-EU separation talks.

Authorized service providers on the island will be provided with an account to use the online tool. The JFSC announced last month that all JPF applications made from September 1 would need to be online and that submissions in paper format will no longer be accepted.

As of June 30, the JFSC had granted authorization to 128 JPFs, an increase of 190 percent since August 2017.