Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Financing and Money Services Act Published by the FSC

On July 13, 2009, the BVI FS Commission published Financing and Money Services Act, 2009. The document which was finally passed on May 26 2009 and signed by the BVI governor David Pearey includes provisions on licensing, registration and supervision of financing business and money services business carried in or from the jurisdiction. The purpose of the Act is to fully comply with the FATF recommendation for all physical and legal persons who provide money or value transfer services to be licensed or registered.

The Act concerns the BVI business companies and foreign companies engaged in financing business or money services business; it does not apply to companies licensed under the Banks and Trust Companies Act, 1990 (for them there is a separate statutory licensing regime).

The Act makes it a criminal offence for a person to carry on a non-bank financial business or money services business unless it is a BVI business company or foreign company licensed under the Act. Also, according to this document, a licensee is required to comply with certain imperatives especially related to the preparation of financial statements and audit. These requirements are stated in the Act.

Further provisions of the document are related to general supervisory matters - professional indemnity and other insurance, submission of returns and reporting of information to FSC, requirements on market conduct and change of name. The Commission may require licensee to change name under which it carries on business.

The final part of the Act includes miscellaneous provisions which outline the manner of submitting applications for licences, maintenance and inspection of a register of licensees, electronic filing, etc. The two Schedules of the Act are dealing with modifications to the Act and the Financial Services Commission Act, 2001, and the applicable penalties to the offences outlined in the Act.

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