British Virgin Islands as Offshore Financial Centre

06 Apr

Geoff Holt BVI stampThe British Virgin Islands has reversed recent trends by becoming the only offshore financial centre to have its rating boosted in the latest Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI 9).

The improvement comes against a backdrop of decline among all other offshore jurisdictions. The ninth edition of the GFCI revealed that the BVI has improved its GFCI rating by two points, securing 40th place in the rankings outright, having previously shared the spot with Brussels.

BVI’s achievement was made all the more remarkable by the fact that every other offshore centre fell in both the ratings and rankings, continuing a trend that began with the global financial crisis in 2008.

Sherri Ortiz, Executive Director of the BVI International Finance Centre, believes the BVI’s boost in the latest edition of the GFCI is testament to the centre’s ongoing commitment to regulation, transparency and continued growth in its financial services offering.

“We are obviously thrilled to witness the jurisdiction’s advancement in the GFCI ratings and gaining a higher ranking while so many others have slipped is a real achievement,” she said. “However, we know a number of threats continue to be mounted against offshore financial centres and we continue our work to position the BVI to strongly rebut these challenges.”

Commenting on the challenges faced by the BVI, the government said:

“GFCI 9 has been published at a time when offshore financial centres continue to be subject to scrutiny from international bodies such as the OECD. However, the BVI has been on OECD’s “white list” of compliant jurisdictions since August 2009 and signed its 20th Tax Information Exchange Agreement, with India, in February of this year. The financial centre continues to be viewed internationally as a well-regulated, cooperative and compliant jurisdiction. Public revenues have also remained steady throughout the financial crisis.”

“In fact, an International Monetary Fund report published in October 2010 indicated that the recent global financial crisis has not affected the health of BVI financial institutions. The report further acknowledged the BVI Financial Services Commission’s (FSC) cooperation as a full partner in international information sharing alongside the strength and independence of the BVI’s regulatory regime.”

The government further said that “The BVI’s strong performance in GFCI 9 confirms the findings of the June 2010 follow-up report by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), published in October last year, where the team examined the capacity, implementation and effectiveness of the BVI’s institutional framework, laws, regulations and systems. The report found that recommended actions from 2008 have been met or adequately addressed the examiners’ recommended actions and concluded that ‘these measures demonstrate Virgin Islands’ commitment to complying with FATF AML/CFT standards’.”

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One Response to “British Virgin Islands as Offshore Financial Centre”

  1. Iconic News June 1, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

    The suspension of redemptions payments has been informed to its participants by the management of ICONIC due to the wave withdrawals.

    “Lack of liquidity” were the words of the fund manager ICONIC in the matter of the suspended withdrawals of “AUA”, “B+”, “C”, “CEE”, “Defensive”, “H”, “L”, “Life”, “M”, “Metals”, “Overall”, “R”, “TSP” and “WM” funds , said today the agency to The BVI Financial Services Commission.

    The manager reports that after a thorough analysis, it has been decided to suspend payment of funds due to the lack of liquidity and have opted for this measure to be, he says, the least affected participants. Payments will be suspended for 24 months, until the fund’s assets are sold and in turn can generate cash.

    As said of the manager, participants in the fund have asked to May 15 2011 a total of 85% of total fund in rebates, so the manager has found it necessary to suspend them from the day May 27, 2011.

    The plan, reportedly, will be to start selling assets underlying the fund, seeking to protect the most value and least risk executable, a program of rebates beginning in May 2013.

    However, the entity does not specify the measures to take if these assets cannot be sold within the period specified or whether the fund can be disintegrated in its entirety.

    No state or how or when, the managing body indicates that fund participants are insured through their own brokers receive from them the current rate ensured its dividend.

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