Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Regulations Published by the Commission

Last week, a number of regulations was published by the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission. The documents issued by the Financial Services Commission are Financial Services (Miscellaneous Exemptions) Regulations, 2011, and Financial Services (Miscellaneous Exemptions) (Amendment) Regulations, 2011.

The first document includes the exemptions applicable to the Banks and Trust Companies Act, 1990 – from providing particulars to be specified in application for Class II and Class III restricted trust licences, from appointing an auditor for the holders of Class II and III trust licences; an exemption for company providing director, officer and nominee shareholder services only to obtain a licence under the Banks and Trust Companies Act, 1990. The document contains also an exemption for person providing director, officer and nominee shareholder services only, to obtain a licence under the Company Management Act, 1990.

The second document amends the schedule of Financial Services (Miscellaneous Exemptions) Regulations, 2011. Both documents came into force on 28 April, 2011.

Friday, June 17, 2011

BVI signed TIEA with Czech Republic

On June 13, the British Virgin Islands has signed a tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) with the Czech Republic. The Agreement was signed in Prague, the BVI was represented by the BVI's Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Social Development Dancia Penn, and the Czech Republic was represented by First Deputy Minister Ladislav Mincic.

The parties also agreed to a Protocol setting out that no prejudicial or restrictive measures will be applied to residents or nationals based on harmful tax practices.

The statement issued jointly by the governments of the British Virgin Islands and the Czech Republic, included the following: “The Czech Republic and BVI have long been active in international efforts in the fight against financial crimes and each share a common commitment to develop and comply with international standards on money laundering, terrorist financing and financial regulation. The Czech Republic recognises the BVI government's reputation as a constructive and co-operative member of the international community with a globally integrated and responsible finance centre.”

The TIEA signed by the BVI and the Czech Republic provides for the exchange of information by request on civil and criminal tax matters, in accordance with the OECD standards. This is already the twenty first Tax Information Exchange Agreement signed by the British Virgin Islands, the previous one was concluded with the Republic of India.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

BVI Premier Discusses Dormant Accounts with BVI Bank Association

The government of the British Virgin Islands continues its consultations on the proposed dormant accounts bill, which has already had its first reading in the House of Assembly of the British Virgin Islands on April 19, 2011.

On June 3, 2011, Premier and Minister of Finance Hon. Ralph T.O'Neal, OBE and Financial Secretary Mr. Neil Smith had a meeting and discussion on this matter with the members of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Bank Association.

The Bill titled “Dormant Accounts Act, 2011” is aimed to provide a framework by which unclaimed assets are ceded to and managed by the Government of the British Virgin Islands. It will also include protocols for the management of accounts and will clearly outline procedures for the claimants.