Thursday, March 25, 2010

BVI FSC Announced Appointment of New Deputy Director, Insurance

The British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission announced the appointment of Mr. Harry Whitcher as Deputy Director, Insurance, with effect on 1 February, 2010. As Deputy Director, Insurance Mr. Whitcher will be primarily responsible for insurance regulation in the BVI, and is a direct report of the Acting Director of Insurance Sector Mr. Elton Lettsome, who was appointed at this position in June 2008.

Mr. Whitcher's work experience included insurance regulation in two jurisdictions focusing on such items as compliance, liability, commercial lines, property, life assurance underwriting and sales. Mr. Whitcher served as the Deputy Director of Insurance for the Bermuda Monetary Authority where he was a member of the Executive Committee responsible for providing overall strategic direction and technical leadership to the BMA.

Mr. Whitcher commented on his appointment: “I am excited by this new position as the Commission commences administration of new Insurance legislation. I look forward to assisting the Commission in the promotion of the highest standards of regulatory enforcement and in strengthening its supervision of the insurance sector.”

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ralph O'Neal Speaks on Tourism and Financial Sectors of the BVI Economy

In the recent delivery of the 2010 Budget Address in the House of Assembly, BVI Premier Hon. Ralph T. O´Neal talked about the tourism sector and the financial services sector and the results of their work in 2009. As regards the financial services industry, he mentioned several bills that have been brought before the House in the past few months, including the Securities and Investment Business Act, aimed at strengthening regulatory regime of the territory and promoting the status of the British Virgin Islands as a jurisdiction of the choice for doing legitimate business.

He also noted that Government is fully committed to ensuring that the Tax Information Exchange Agreements concluded by the BVI and its OECD partners are implemented effectively, through the efficient operation of the administration system supporting them.

Although the number of new company incorporations in the British Virgin Islands decreased by more than 14,000 in 2009, according to the statistics of the Financial Services Commission, Ralph O'Neal expressed optimism about the overall performance of the BVI economy in 2010. He said that the economy of the British Virgin Islands should experience the improvement in the financial services sector and tourism.

The BVI offshore incorporation figures up to the third quarter of 2009 were down by approximately 32 percent compared to the same period of 2008, but the overall number of active offshore companies registered in the BVI remains in the level of about 400,000.

Concerning the tourism sector of the BVI economy in 2009, the Premier outlined some of the effects of the global economic turmoil on the decrease of many indicators compared to 2008.