Among the many extraordinary and unjustifiable aspects of the way tax havens function, taxpayer sponsorship of banks in Jersey is particularly hard to understand. Jersey Finance, the marketing arm for the offshore industry, has rejected the concerns of island's Public Accounts Committee
, a spending watchdog, that public spending on marketing trips to drum up financial services business in places like the Middle East and Far East Asia is not a good use of taxpayer money.
But why should highly profitable banks be subsidised in this way? If banks and other intermediaries want to have politicians and civil servants tagging along on these marketing missions they should fund the fares, accommodation costs and compensate the public for the publicly funded time involved.