Wednesday, September 21, 2011

BVI FSC Informs on New FATF Public Statement

The British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission has published on the home page a Public Statement of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which was issued as an update to the FATF statements previously issued in October, 2010, and in February, 2011. The updated statement identified jurisdictions with strategic anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) deficiencies that have not made sufficient progress in addressing these issues. These are Bolivia, Cuba, Ethiopia, Kenya, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Syria and Turkey.

The Commission advised the public to note the concerns expressed by the FATF with respect to the named jurisdictions, and consider the money laundering and/or terrorist financing risks associated and apply appropriate due diligence measures when dealing with customers or transactions involving any of these jurisdictions.

There was also a separate document published by the FATF and named “Improving Global AML/CFT Compliance: On-Going Process”, with the updated statements regarding certain jurisdictions that have committed to improve their AML/CFT frameworks. Among other jurisdictions, the statement identifies Greece as having made significant progress in improving its AML/CFT regime.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

BVI Ranked First in the Region for Best Quality of Life

In a report which was recently released by FDI Intelligence, a division of the Financial Times of London, the British Virgin Islands was ranked in the top first place in the list of countries of the Caribbean and Central America.

The report was published based on data compiled by the division of the Financial Times ans scored by an independent judging panel. Judging criteria for the category, which the BVI was the first, was based on multiple factors including life expectancy, infant mortality, unemployment rate, GDP per capita, crime and secondary enrollment rate.

Neil Blyden, chairman of the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board, said in his comments on the BVI ranking: "We are pleased to receive this recognition and we look forward to sharing these wonderful attributes with visitors to the destination... From our pristine beaches and exhilarating natural attractions to our friendly people, award-winning cuisine and outstanding accommodations, the BVI is a destination made for such superlatives."

Thursday, September 01, 2011

UK HMRC Targets Information-sharing Agreements with BVI and Panama

HM Revenue and Customs is planning to extend his crackdown on tax havens used by the British citizens to move their assets. After targeting Switzerland and Liechtenstein, HMRC will aim to reach information-sharing agreements with Panama and the British Virgin Islands.

It is believed that substantial sums of tax are being evaded by owners of property in London whose identity remains unknown to the UK authorities, and HMRC is looking closely at countries which have strict secrecy laws relating to legal ownership of companies and banking – including BVI.

Offshore jurisdictions are pressed by the other countries to bring in more transparency. The UK Coalition Government has strengthened the pressure on the British people holding money in Jersey by bringing in a new penalty of 200 per cent of the tax evaded by people who do not disclose money held there.