From Alan Hall.
I WOULD like to add my own comments to those of J Jones (JEP, 3 February) regarding the delay in introducing a deposit protection scheme for Islanders.
In May last year I had reason to e-mail Senators Oz-ouf and Le Sueur regarding the lack of protection in Jersey. Following a number of exchanges, the response that I received from Senator Le Sueur was: ‘If this is an issue of overriding concern to you, the advice should be for you to invest your mo-ney in a reputable bank in the Isle of Man and rely on their guarantee scheme . . . I would prefer you to be able to sleep soundly.’
When he was challenged about the comments on BBC Radio Jersey a few months later, the Senator said that he had been joking! I was not amused, as this was a serious question and deserved a proper response.
Later last year, at election time, I raised the issue yet again. Senator Ozouf contacted me and stated that there would be a protection scheme in place by the end of November 2008. However, as we are all aware, this has not happened.
Ex-Senator Walker called me around the same time to say that monies on deposit had been given a political guarantee — ie no limit; this being backed by the rainy day fund.
However, my understanding at the time was that this fund totalled around £600 million, whereas it had been reported that monies on deposit by Islanders totalled about £10.5 billion. This ‘guarantee’ therefore did not give me any comfort whatsoever.
As J Jones stated, the government should prove to depositors that their promises are genuine and make this happen, ie introdu-ce a depositor’s protection scheme post haste.
With all due respect, I would suggest that he and others who have concerns regarding this important matter should not hold their breath. As we all know, the wheels in Jersey move very, very slowly; indeed, from time to time they run backwards.
Grande Route des Sablons,