Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Commission Reminds of Deadline to Submit Applications

The British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission reminded of approaching deadline to submit applications for money services or financing licence. The transitional period for submitting applications for money services or financing licence ends this week, on 30 September, 2010.

In the press release, the BVI FSC noted that conducting money services or financing business without a licence from 1 October 2010 will be considered an offence. The money services and financing businesses found guilty of this offence will have to pay a fine of US$60,000 for a corporate entity or US$40,000 for an individual, and/or imprisoned for three years.

The Financing and Money Services Act was passed by the House of Assembly on 26 May, 2009, and came into effect on 30 March, 2010.

Monday, September 20, 2010

BVI IFC Hosts New York Funds Conference

On September 23, the British Virgin Islands International Finance Centre (IFC) and the BVI Investment Funds Association will host a conference in New York under the title "A New Era in Funds Domiciliation," where Domiciliation refers to the fixed location of a fund.

By words of the Executive Director of the BVI IFC Ms. Sherri Ortiz, the conference is a great demonstration of Territory's progress in this sector, and the extent to which BVI businesses in funds have grown. She noted that this is an excellent opportunity for them to showcase their funds expertise to international practitioners who want to know more about the British Virgin Islands.

The Executive Director said that the NY conference “promises to provide a quality programme of discussions and keynote speakers. It will provide a unique platform for an exchange of views, sharing best practice and formulation of strategies to best deal with opportunities in 2010 and 2011." She added that the event, which will be attended by leading hedge fund providers in the U.S., will include presentations from leading private sector practitioners on the following topics: State of the Funds Market, A Regulatory Approach, Litigate with Confidence and Lessons learned for the Funds Industry from the Financial Crisis.

The Conference is part of the BVI IFC's work on marketing the BVI financial services industry and promotion of the jurisdiction's reputation as a reliable financial services centre. The event will be visited by the representatives from the BVI FSC, such reputable offshore law firms as Conyers Dill & Pearman, Maples and Calder, Walkers, Harney´s and Ogier.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Harneys' HK Office Head to Lead Maples and Calder's BVI Practice in Hong Kong

The head of Hong Kong office of Harney Westwood & Riegels Michael Gagie was laterally hired by an offshore legal firm Maples and Calder, to co-lead the firm's British Virgin Islands practice in Asia. On 1 September, Mr. Gagie started work in his new post in Hong Kong office of Maples and Calder, along with Barry Mitchell. Both lawyers were living and working in BVI for some time before moving to Asia.

Since 2003, when Mr. Gagie joined Harneys, he regularly advised on listings of BVI corporations on international stock markets, including NASDAQ and AIM Market in London. By words of joint managing partner of Maples and Calder in Hong Kong Christine Chang, his arrival “could not have come at a better time as the market prepares for the BVI listings of BVI-incorporated companies on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange”.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

BVI FSC Issues Application Forms for Financial Services Business Provider's Licence

The BVI FSC has issued the information and guidelines for those who seek to apply for a licence or certificate as Financial Services Business Providers within the jurisdiction. The six documents published by the Commission include the Application Form that should be completed by an applicant to obtain the Licence or Certificate as a Financial Services Business Provider (Part 1 of the Document), and the forms which include additional information required in the case of a Banking or Fiduciary Business Licence Application (Part 2), in the case of an Insurance Licence Application (Part 3), for an Investment Business Licence, Recognition and Registration of Mutual Funds (Part 4).

Part 5 of the Document is for additional information, which is not specifically requested in an approved form for the type of authorization sought, but which an applicant may wish to provide for the consideration of an application or for any other reason. Part 6 (Declaration) and Part 1 should be completed by all applicants notwithstanding what type of Licence they apply for.

The order of completing the approved appplication forms, additional forms and attachments and their acceptance by the Commission is stated in the Application Guidelines. Every application must be accompanied by the requisite fee. All completed applications along with supporting documents should be addressed to the Financial Services Commission, and will be processed by appropriate divisions of the FSC which have responsibility for the subject matter of the application.