Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Guidelines Published by BVI FSC

The British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission has published Guidelines in Relation to use of Restricted Company Names, having effect from 17 October, 2011. In the Introduction to the document it is stated that the Commission is empowered by the BVI Business Companies Act, 2004 to specify words or phrases to be restricted for purposes of incorporation, continuation, etc. The BVI BCA introduces the concept of restricted company name whereby a company that has as part of its name a restricted word of phrase cannot be registered unless it has the written consent of the Commission, whether in relation to incorporation, continuation, merger or consolidation.

Part I of the document relates to the Regulatory legislation, which prohibits the use by any person of certain specific names or phrases, and covers the terms named in Banks and Trust Companies Act, 1990, Company Management Act, 1990, Insurance Act, 2008, Securities and Investment Business Act, 2010 (SIBA). The second part of the Guidelines relates to Registry legislation (generally companies), and covers current requirements in relation to company name endings, restrictions on the use of company names. It also includes BVI Business Companies (restricted company names) notice, 2011. Part III of the document is the Guide to Applying for Consent/Approval for Use of a Restricted Name.

The Schedule includes Application for the consent or approval of the Financial Services Commission to use a restricted name. The Guidelines were approved by the Board of Commissioners on 30 August, 2011, and issued by the Financial Services Commission on September 15, 2011.

Friday, October 14, 2011

UK Overseas Territories Attorneys General Conference being Held in Cayman Islands

This week, the 20th annual conference was opened in the Cayman Islands, where meet attorneys general from British Overseas Territories, including British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos, Pitcairn and the Cayman Islands. Attorneys general from Bermuda, the South Atlantic Territories of St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Falkland Islands and Gibraltar are not present at the meeting.

During the conference, the attorneys general discuss the important issues for their countries with the solicitor general for England and Wales and MP, Edward Garnier, QC, who is the conference chairman, and other officials from the UK, and the Justice Departments of the US and Canada.

Garnier said that in July the National Security Council of the UK government had confirmed the UK's fundamental policy and objective to ensure the security and good governance of the 14 Overseas Territories of the United Kingdom. He also acknowledged the special challenges that attorneys general face in their everyday work, and recognised that the British Dependent territories are very diverse, requiring specifically tailored policies.

Garnier said that, despite the constitutional arrangements between the UK and the Overseas Territories, they should jointly work to improve the link, strengthen mutual ties, good governance and financial management as well as the quality and range of support to the OTs.

Monday, October 03, 2011

UK Launches Consultations with Overseas Territories

Henry Bellingham, Minister of State at Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office, who is in charge of overseas territories, has formally launched a consultation process in respect of the new White Paper that will be produced and published in 2012 on the UK's relationship with its Overseas Territories, including British Virgin Islands. In a speech during his visit to Bermuda, Mr. Bellingham said that the UK government's strategy towards the Overseas Territories focuses on the following areas: strengthening the engagement and interaction between the UK and the Territories, working with territories to strengthen good governance arrangements, public financial management and economic planning where this is necessary; and improving the quality and range of support available to the territories.

Bellingham said that the period of consultation is “for the purpose of identifying what we can do to improve the functioning of the relationship between the UK and each Overseas Territory in the three broad areas defined.”

All the leaders of the Overseas Territories will be able to discuss the White Paper when they meet on the annual Overseas Territories Consultative Council, which will take place in London on November 23-24.