Sunday, February 15, 2009

Robert Mathavious Speaks on Challenges and Developments in the International Regulatory Environment

Robert Mathavious, Managing Director and CEO of the BVI FSC, has made a presentation within Meet the Regulator Forum on the state of the local financial services industry and the developmental changes that confront it. The presentation of Robert Mathavious addressed to financial services providers on the territory, also included general analysis of the situation in the international financial industry in 2008, which proved to be turbulent and troubled year for business.

Among other things, he mentioned that the OECD is now compiling green and black lists of Offshore Financial Centres (OFCs), based on the level of progress in entering Tax Information Exchange Agreements with OECD countries. The British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and other Caribbean overseas territories are excluded; the BVI already has a TIEA with the US, and the BVI authorities made efforts to have the BVI removed from the list which does not distinguish between jurisdictions that comply to international standards, and “uncooperative jurisdictions”. He noted that the long-term success of the BVI financial services industry depends on the international reputation of the jurisdiction.

Mr Mathavious evaluated recent CFATF report as the “most comprehensive and authoritative assessment” that has ever been conducted of BVI's AML/CFT regime. By his words, the effect of the global financial turmoil on international markets and on policymakers' attitudes towards OFCs is a big challenge for the BVI financial industry.

The head of the Commission resumed that some steps are necessary to develop and implement a plan for strengthening the value proposition of the financial services sector, and enhancing its international competitiveness, and the main step would be ensuring compliance with international standards.

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