Friday, April 30, 2010

BVI Investment Business: Changes to Regulatory Regime

After the industry consultation, the British Virgin Islands has enacted the Securities and Investment Business Act, 2010 (SIBA). This became the most significant change to the regulatory regime for investment business in the British Virgin Islands since the Mutual Funds Act, 1996, meaning an important step for the continued development of the financial services sector in the jurisdiction.

The objectives of SIBA's introduction are modernisation of the mutual funds and investment business regimes and developing appropriate legislative provisions in relation to securities business, while addressing international standards of regulation.

As stated in the press release issued by the Financial Services Commission, the regulation and administration of hedge funds and securities business in the BVI has been a major priority for the Government of the BVI and the FSC. The enactment of SIBA marked a significant step forward for investment business in the Territory. SIBA's enactment will not significantly change existing fund business and contains appropriate transitional provisions. However, it will transform BVI’s regulatory approach to investment business.

The Director of Investment Business at the BVI FSC, Brodrick Penn, said that the new Act means the maturity and growth of the jurisdiction beyond that of a fund only jurisdiction as it implements new laws and rules for areas such as public issues and securities intermediation activities. It reinforces the commitment of the BVI territory to develop regulatory regime for investment business consistent and compliant with international standards and balance the commercial interests of the BVI.

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