Page 113

Business BVI Guides

Financial Services

Financial Services At A Glance Incorporations

Source: BVI Financial Services Commission

Incorporations (cummulative active)

Incorporations (annual)

100,000

200,000

Incorporations (annual)

300,000

400,000

Incorporations (cummulative active)

2018

37,415

402,907

2017

32,493

389,459

2016

31,769

416,784

The growth of the financial services sector in the BVI, was mainly due to the success of the International Business Company (IBC) (now known as the BVI Business Company subsequent to the enactment of new incorporation legislation – BVI Business Company Act, 2004) first unveiled 30 years ago in 1984. In later years, the BVI secured business that was redirected from Panama during the Noriega regime and from Hong Kong when it was handed back to China in 1997. The Asian market thus, accounts for a large portion of company incorporations in the BVI. Modern and innovative legislation, a robust regulatory framework, clever marketing, economic and political stability, quality technology and communication facilities and a full range of legal, banking and account services have contributed significantly to the continued growth of incorporations. Closely related sectors, such as captive insurance, investment business (mutual funds), trust and estate formation, company management, corporate restructuring, securitisation, insolvency and shipping and trademarks have developed. The industry is regulated by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) which is an autonomous body responsible for the licensing, regulation, supervision and inspection of all financial services business. Marketing and promotion of the products and services of the financial services sector is conducted by the BVI Finance (formerly the International Finance Centre)

FINANCIAL SERVICES

2017

2018

8

7

Trust (general) Class I, II & III

109

100

Trust (restricted)

57

54

Company Managers

18

17

Money Services/Financing Business

4

4

Captive Insurance

111

73

Domestic Insurance

40

39

Insurance Managers

11

10

Banking and Fiduciary Banking (general and restricted)

Insurance

Mutual Funds (active) Professional

1007

955

Private

340

329

Public

48

44

Foreign

6

6

Incubator

41

66

Approved

57

98

27

27

Insolvency Practitioners Source: BVI Financial Services Commission

The Financial Investigation Agency (FIA), which was launched in 2004, functions as a specialist investigative law enforcement arm of the government with the objective of curbing financial crime. Its primary focus is to investigate the BVI financial services industry and support the Virgin Islands mutual legal assistance regimes. The BVI London Office and the BVI Asia House in Hong Kong were commissioned to establish a presence in Europe and Asia, to take advantage of economic opportunities not limited to financial services and tourism. The Financial Services Implementation Unit (FSIU), was established late 2015, to put into effect the recommendations of a report outlining a strategic plan to chart the future of the financial services industry with the goal of securing the future of the industry. The recommendations centre on attracting value-added services, labour and immigration reform, strengthening business development and attracting investment in infrastructure.

Business Companies The BVI is one of the largest centres for the incorporation of business companies, with around 1 million companies incorporated since the enactment of the International Business Companies (IBC) Act in 1984. Over 400,000 are still active today. Because of the flexibility of its use, BVI business companies have been used in a plethora of business transactions and structures, including structured finance and securitisation, succession planning, IPOs and listings on stock exchanges and joint ventures etc. The incorporation regime has changed somewhat with the introduction of new company legislation – the BVI Business Companies Act, 2004 which replaced the IBC Act repealed on January 1st, 2007. The core features of the IBC Act, which made it a success, remain along with improvements to ensure the longevity of the Virgin Island’s market share. The new Act for instance widens the range of corporate vehicles available for use, simplifies the statement of capital and the registration of charges. Effective January 2018, the incorporation fee and annual fee payable to maintain a standard company authorised to issue up to 50,000 shares increased from US$350 to US$450, and for a company authorised to issue more than 50,000 shares, from US$1,100 to US$1,200.

BUSINESSBVI.COM

111

Profile for Business BVI

Business BVI July 2019  

The theme for the July 2019 edition is ‘A View Beyond the Horizon’, which is intended to reflect where the territory is post 2017, while at...

Business BVI July 2019  

The theme for the July 2019 edition is ‘A View Beyond the Horizon’, which is intended to reflect where the territory is post 2017, while at...

Advertisement