Deputy will propose local bank scheme

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A PROPOSAL for a States-owned bank funded by £100 million from the strategic reserve is to be put to politicians.

New St Helier Deputy Mike Higgins (pictured) will table the proposal in the weeks ahead in an attempt to cushion the effects of an impending recession on the local economy.

The Deputy, who is chairman of the Economic Affairs Scrutiny Panel, will propose a bank in which only local people can make deposits and may lend only to Islanders and Jersey businesses. He said the bank would be at liberty to set its own interest rates as it would not be tied to inter-bank borrowing rates.

He added that a States-owned institution could be exempt from Banking Business law restrictions that dictate that licences can only be issued to the world’s top 500 rated banks. ‘A States-owned bank can be treated differently under the law,’ he said. It would be run on the basis that investments are made in Jersey and the money kept here to boost the local economy.’

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