Sunday, 10 June 2012
Jersey A "Well Regulated" Off-Shore Finance Centre?
George Burrow is a British citizen who has spent most of his working life abroad as an engineer. He is now 60, married and looking forward to retirement but £100,000 of his relatively modest savings have been “lost”.
Not lost through gambling on the horses or left in a plastic bag somewhere – but “lost” by the respectable and trusted bank that he had trusted for over 30 years. Of course, the bank would no doubt dispute the circumstances.
In the modern world of failing banks and collapsing national economies this may come as no surprise to many but George Burrows has been visibly protesting in Jersey over the past few weeks about his case – the details of which he discusses here in this disturbing video interview.
“Ex Pat” people like George are – or were - the very bedrock of the Jersey finance industry. He needed a safe and secure place to deposit his earnings because he was often working in places that lacked any banking infrastructures of their own.
Whilst working in Africa he opened an account with the Jersey branch of Standard Chartered and had been supposedly secure and happy there for over 30 years. Many thousands of others must have done the same over the years.
What is especially revealing here is that no amount of “regulations” can help somebody like George Burrow if nobody is empowered or prepared to enforce them.
In his case, £100,000 is considered too small an amount to fight for in the courts and the lawyers fees (in Jersey or America) would swallow it up in any case - even if he should win.
As always, the professional people and their organisations, which should be defending him, seem to have evaporated. The unique jurisdiction of Jersey is another barrier too with its strange but inadequate avenues for redress such as no Finance Ombudsman.
Some local Jersey politicians are clearly trying to help but they lack any direct powers. Those in authority who ought to hold the key to a fair hearing refuse to act, or even respond to George Burrow’s invitations.
The “accredited media”, both in Jersey and the UK seem afraid to challenge such a rich and powerful adversary as an international bank.
Even the police seem reluctant to investigate because it might not be “cost effective.”
So it is particularly revealing to hear what George Burrow has to say about Jersey’s Finance industry which claims to be a world leader in regulation and competence.
All PR and salesmanship but no substance – or as one UK journalist warned him so far as Jersey Financial Regulation is concerned - “it is like the Wild West.”
George Burrow’s own You tube site can be found HERE
Submitted by Tom Gruchy