Friday, April 20, 2012

British Virgin Islands Introduce IBAN

Premier and Minister of Finance of the British Virgin Islands, D. Orlando Smith, OBE, told the Department of Information and Public Relations that the introduction of the International Bank Account Numbers (IBAN) is a very important developent for the British Virgin Islands territory. By his words, this step “has positioned the BVI as a world-class banking centre, by putting the BVI on the same level with more than 50 other countries”, nurturing BVI´s banking business overall. He also added: "We are convinced that the BVI banking industry, although very small compared to other banking centres, will grow further as it continues to participate in activities to engage international standards of the industry."

The Ministry of Finance of the jurisdiction, upon the initiative of the BVI Bank Association, endorsed the application for a national country code to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) – the official registrar to the IBAN. SWIFT approved the application allowing the national IBAN format for the BVI available to worldwide banks effective this month.

President of the BVI Bank Association Ms. Joycelyn Murraine said that, BVI being a member of IBAN, efficiency will be gained, enabling Straight Through Processing, and by that the territory can attract significant banking business from new markets and banks.

The International Bank Account Numbers are unique codes assigned to bank accounts to standardise and simplify the international money transfer process.