Thursday, June 07, 2018

BVI Government Appoints Legal Council to Advise on Public Register


In the press briefing held on May 30, BVI Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr Orlando Smith, announced that the government has appointed legal counsel to advise on potential legal issues related to the public register of beneficial ownership imposed by Britain. This appointment followed the UK Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill which requires Overseas Territories, including the BVI, to make public beneficial ownership of all registered companies. With this Bill, the UK receives the right to implement sanctions on individuals, companies and states, and address money-laundering after the Brexit.

BVI Premier said that the legal team “is confident that the imposition of a public register would raise serious constitutional and human rights issues and would be subject to constitutional challenge.” 

A week earlier, BVI diplomat Benito Wheatley has informed the British government that the UK decision to force public registers of beneficial ownership will negatively impact the jurisdiction’s financial services sector that makes more than 60 percent of government revenue.

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