Martin Moloney, Director General of the Jersey Financial Services Commission, says that integrity is the crucial ingredient upon which Jersey’s reputation lies. It was his key message to delegates at ICSA: The Governance Institute’s recent annual conference in St Helier.
Opening the conference with an impassioned plea to Jersey’s governance professionals to call out poor corporate integrity when they see it, such as putting personal interest above a customer’s interests, Mr Moloney stressed that Jersey cannot afford to have people without integrity working in financial services.
A firm believer that the recent extension of civil sanctions to individuals is an important step in helping to focus minds on correct behaviour, he views integrity and competence as very different things, seeing competence as something that can be remedied, but integrity as something that generally cannot.
Robert Le Corre, Branch Chair of ICSA’s Jersey Branch, said: “It was gratifying to hear that Mr Moloney is impressed with the good work that our members do. Nevertheless, we cannot rest on our laurels. As another speaker David Cadin, Managing Partner at Bedell Cristin, pointed out, 3% of the world’s GDP disappears in financial crime.
“That sum equates to an economy the size of Spain’s, so we cannot afford to be complacent. It is incumbent upon all of us to remain vigilant and ensure that documents are not misleading and that the correct procedures and processes are in place to flag up any potential wrong doing.”
With the theme of the conference addressing ‘Building Board Resilience’, other speakers at the conference looked at issues such as the ethical use of data; the barrier that the huge mass of information received by directors presents to board effectiveness; board dynamics and effective board evaluation.
Simon Osborne, Chief Executive of ICSA, said: “This year’s conference has been of great use in flagging up to Jersey’s governance practitioners some of the issues that businesses are facing and will be faced with in the future. It is crucial that board members and the governance professionals who advise them are up to speed with such issues so that they can ensure the continuing vibrancy of Jersey’s economy.
“Jersey has an exceptionally good story to tell as a trusted place to do business, with many standards of practice in place that are more stringent than those employed in the UK. This position could be strengthened further by closer collaboration with the other Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories.”