Thursday, May 27, 2010

Offshore Agreement Signed Between BVI and Australia

By the announcement of the Australian government, the Additional Benefits Agreements between Australia, the British Virgin Islands, the Isle of Man and Jersey have come into force.

These agreements help to prevent double taxation by allocation of the taxing rights over certain income of pensioners, students and government employees - residents of Australia, the British Virgin islands, the Isle of Man and Jersey. This kind of agreement also provides for a mechanism to deal with disputes arising from transfer pricing adjustments.

The Additional Benefits Agreement with the British Virgin Islands entered into force on April 12, 2010. As well as the other two jurisdictions, BVI have also signed TIEA with Australia.

By words of Assistant Treasurer, Senator Nick Sherry, these arrangements are part of the new taxation and financial relationship between Australia and the jurisdictions.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Appointment of New Minister for the BVI and Overseas Territories

The Office of the Governor announced the appointment of Mr Henry Bellingham, who followed Chris Bryant in the post of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), with ministerial responsibilities for the British Virgin Islands and other Overseas Territories. The minister's duties will also include Africa, United Nations, Global economic issues, climate change and conflict resolution.

The appointment of Mr Bellingham followed the recent elections in the United Kingdom and a coalition government formed between the Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats. He is the Member of Parliament from the Conservatives, who first entered Parliament in 1983 as MP for North West Norfolk. Prior to being re-elected in 2001, he ran his own consultancy practice specialising in advising businesses on inward investment.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Guidelines for the Approved Persons Regime Published by the Commission

The BVI FSC has published Guidelines for the Approved Persons Regime, with the purpose to give detailed information for the consideration and approval of applications for senior officers appointment. The Guidelines outline senior officer duties and responsibilities and incorporate a set of rules governing the procedure for the approval of senior officers, auditors and other independent officers.

The Guidelines for the Approved Persons Regime, divided into seven parts with application forms and appendices included, provide information on the application of the Regulatory Code to position of Senior Officer, duties and responsibilities of senior officers, their qualifications and experience. The document also states what kind of supporting evidence and additional information is needed for a proposed senior officer. In the general provisions relating to actuaries, auditors and other independent officers, there is information about their approval, roles and duties, qualification and experience.

The forms for filing applications for approval of directors, compliance officers and senior officers, for approval of actuaries/auditors/other independent officers, for approval of change of auditors, notification of resignation/ termination of actuary/auditor/other independent officer, and declaration form for an exemption from appointing a compliance officer are included in the Guidelines.

According to the document, a suitable candidate for a senior officer position must be qualified and have appropriate experience, demonstrate high level of competence and integrity. The criteria for granting approval of an application for a senior officer are set in Division 2 of Part II of the Regulatory Code, 2009.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

BVI FSC Issues Performance Accountability and Supervisory Standards

The Financial Services Commission published the Performance Accountability and Supervisory Service Standards which were issued in January 2010. The new Policy, measuring service standards within the Commission, will enable its Board of Directors and Senior Management to evaluate performance of the Commission against the functions and standards stated in the Financial Services Commission Act, 2001.

The supervisory service standards set in the Performance Accountability Policy relate to such activities of the Commission as dealing with new licence applications, determining subsequent amendments to an existing licence or authorisation, responding to formal requests for the disclosure of non-public or public information, submitting information for the Gazzette, providing response to complaints made against the Commission, and many others. The introduced supervisory service standards also measure the timeframe in which these tasks should be performed.

The Commission published complete list of supervisory standards for each of its internal divisions including Banking & Fiduciary Services Division, Insolvency Services Division, Insurance Division, Investment Business Division, Registry of Corporate Affairs.

At the close of each quarter, the Commission will produce a quarterly report providing the details of its performance against the agreed service standards.