Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Written Evidence

Submission from Mr Alan Savery, Banking Supervisor, St Helena

  1.  Further to my submission of 20 August 2007[250] I would like to update the comments I made at that time. I have just returned from a visit to St Helena which involved a supervisory visit to the Bank of St Helena and providing assistance in the public consultation on the introduction of legislation concerning money laundering and financial services.

  2.  In my earlier submission I commented that some of the Government Officials in St Helena did not have sufficient grasp of the technical issues. This comment was based on my experience in dealing with officials since 2001. However, I feel it right to point out that the changes in personnel in recent times has led to a dramatic improvement. During this latest visit I have been able to hold meaningful and very professional discussions with all the relevant officials.

  3.  The problems I alluded to concerning the FCO however, remain and over the last few months it has become clear to me that the underlying problem arises from the fact that in dealing with technical issues such as financial services, they rely on experts in the subject who have no knowledge of the island and the desk officers who have knowledge of the island do not have sufficient technical knowledge to be able to put the expert advice into the proper context. This results in measures being proposed which are out of proportion to the problem being addressed.

  4.  If I can be of any further assistance to your enquiry I would be happy to help.

24 January 2008

250   Ev 71. Back

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