Monday, October 21, 2013

Founder of Virgin Group Changed UK Residence for Private BVI Island

Sir Richard Branson, British entrepreneur and investor, named by Forbes as Britain’s sixth richest resident this year, and best known as the founder of Virgin Group which includes more than 400 companies, has revealed that he had been a tax exile to the BVI for the last years.

Branson moved his main residence to the private island in the British Virgin Islands. This island, named Necker, was bought by the businessman in 1979, and has become his tax base. Now he can spend in the United Kingdom only 46 to 183 days a year. As a non-resident, he must pay tax on UK income but not on any personal earnings outside of Britain. His companies are paying corporation tax.

Branson commented on his decision to move to the Caribbean island, saying it is done for the sake of his health rather than for tax reasons.

Branson’s fortune is estimated at £3.5bn, now he earns about US$11m a year, and donates much of his income to the Virgin Unite charity, which supports entrepreneurs around the world. He does not take dividends from Virgin Group Holdings, which owns his stakes in the Virgin operating companies and is registered in the British Virgin Islands.

Friday, October 11, 2013

BVI FSC Issued Thirty First Volume of Quarterly Statistical Bulletin

The BVI Financial Services Commission has published the 31st volume of its Quarterly Statistical Bulletin, informing about financial services activities in the Territory in the second quarter of 2013. In the period ended June 30, 2013, 12,478 new companies were formed, compared to 16,666 in the previous quarter of this year, and to 15,200 incorporations in the second quarter of 2012. Cumulative number of active business companies at the end of Q2 2013 was 457,151. Also, the Registry of Corporate Affairs reported of 16 Limited Partnerships and 33 Private Trust Companies formed in the second quarter of 2013.

According to Banking and Fiduciary Sector statistics, 2 entities were licensed in the BVI jurisdiction in the three months period, both of them trusts, and the total number of licensed entities was 234 as at 30 June 2013. Banking sector also reported the following fiscal results for commercial banks in the second quarter of the year (in US$ thousands): total assets - $2,470,458, deposits - $1,871,986, total shareholders’ equity was $372,570, operating income - $45,799, and net income - $24,663. 

In Investment Business Sector, 4 new Investment Business Licences were granted and 6 Investment Managers approved in the three months period. Also, 30 new Mutual Funds were licensed (21 of them Professional, and 9 Private), as compared to 39 newly licensed Mutual funds in the first quarter of 2013, and 22 funds in the second quarter of the previous year. Cumulative number of Mutual Funds as at 30 June 2013 was 2,277.

In the second quarter of the year, there were 24 Formal Requests in the sphere of International Cooperation, as well as 4 formal, and 51 Enforcement Matters. In Investment Business sector, 280 Ongoing Supervision Matters were reviewed by the Licensing and Supervisory Committee; 94 Matters referred to LSC related to Banking and Fiduciary Services, 28 related to Insurance, and 4 – to Insolvency Services.