Friday, June 25, 2010

BVI FSC Published Advisory Warning on WI NET Corporation

The BVI FSC issued Advisory Warning informing the public that WI NET CORPORATION, also known as WATER INVESTMENT, is not licensed to carry on financial services business in the BVI territory.

According to the announcement of the Commission, WI NET CORPORATION offered investment opportunities via, and held itself as a company incorporated, registered and licensed in the British Virgin Islands, while it is not and has never been a BVI-registered company.

The BVI FSC asked the public to exercise extreme caution in having any deals with WI NET CORPORATION (or WATER INVESTMENT).

Saturday, June 19, 2010

BVI Premier's Meeting with FCO Minister

Henry Bellingham, the Minister for Overseas Territories at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, met the Premier of the British Virgin Islands Hon. Ralph O'Neal. Among the issues discussed, there were tourism, economic diversification and constitutional relationship. The Minister welcomed measures of the BVI government taken for strengthening the economy of the territory, and welcomed the proposed measures aimed at revenue raising.

The BVI Premier congratulated Mr. Bellingham on his appointment and invited him to visit the British Virgin Islands to receive information about the situation in the territory at first hand. Both the Minister and the Premier agreed that both governments must work together and establish new relationship.

Monday, June 14, 2010

BVI FSC Publishes Statistics for Q4 2009

The British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission issued the seventeenth volume of Quarterly Statistical Bulletin that includes statistics, information and analysis of financial services activities in the BVI in the fourth quarter of 2009.

In this period, the number of companies incorporated in the BVI decreased: 11,931 new companies were registered, compared to 13,368 in the third quarter of 2009. Cumulative amount of companies registered in the jurisdiction is 410,293. The amount of companies incorporated during the whole year 2009 was less than in the previous years, starting from 2006.

According to Banking and Fiduciary Services statistics, total currently licensed entities as at December 31 2009 were 266. The banking sectors statistics for commercial banks in the fourth quarter of 2009 included information that total assets were US$2,453,025,000, cash items were US$925,018,000, net income was US$33,206.

According to the investment business statistics, 7 licenses were granted to functionaries in the fourth quarter of 2009, including managers and administrators, and 67 licenses were granted to mutual funds – professional, private and public. There were 17 insolvency practitioners licensed in the fourth quarter of 2009.

In the sphere of legal and international co-operation, there were 55 enforcement matters – that is significantly more than in the third quarter of 2009 and in the fourth quarter of 2008. The International co-operation matters in the fourth quarter of 2009 included 24 formal requests (requiring disclosure of non-public information), and 26 informal requests. Also, there were 6 on-site compliance inspections in Q4 2009, including the cases of inspections of the trust companies, in insurance and investment business.

There were 473 matters before the Licensing and Supervisory Committee in the fourth quarter of 2009, divided between Banking and Fiduciary Services (139), Investment Business (257), Insurance (73), and Insolvency Services (4).

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Leaders of BVI and other British Overseas Territories Meet in Bermuda

The meeting of the Overseas Territories Consultative Council (OTCC) was held in Bermuda, visited by the representatives of four Britain's Overseas Territories. From the British Virgin Islands, there were Premier Ralph O'Neal and MP Vincent Scatliffe; they were joined by Premier Mckeeva Bush of the Cayman Islands, Deputy Chief Minister Edison Baird of Anguilla, and Charles Kirnon, Montserrat's Minister of Communication, Works and Labour.

The main purpose of the OTCC meeting was to offer the leaders of the countries an opportunity to discuss the matters of interest for the participants before the official conference which will take place in London at the end of the year. By words of Bermuda Premier Dr Ewart Brown, the meeting was successful, because the participants “have completed full and varied agenda”, and now they are well prepared for London conference. He said that during the meeting the members of the OTCC expressed concern about the scrutiny that was given by the UK to financial affairs of its overseas territories.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

BVI Executives Discuss Cuts in Funding of Financial Services Sector

The Executive Director of the International Finance Centre (IFC) Sherri Ortiz, in her speech before the Standing Finance Committee, stated that, while being responsible for promotion and development of the financial services industry, they are not able to get the funding, and this can disturb the growth of the financial services sector of the BVI economy. The IFC Director said that, because of the significant cut in the IFC budget, the Commission cannot develop any programmes, especially taking into account the extremely competitive environment.

Also, Territorial Member Hon. Vernon Malone expressed his concerns about cutting the budget for the marketing of the financial and tourism sectors - the two pillars of country's economy.

The committee was asked to look at the marketing for financial services and tourism and ensure sufficient funding to keep the jurisdiction competitive.

Financial Secretary Neil Smith said that, while they spoke about the financial constraints of the BVI territory in order to promote financial services and tourism, they must also increase efforts to maintain their position in these areas, because competition is very high and for other jurisdictions these are also the most important sectors of economy.