05/05/2022 Alexander

What’s next for BVI’s financial regulation and AML? Will it follow suit with the UK ?

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss issued a statement ahead of the publication of the Commission of Inquiry report into governance in the British Virgin Islands.

The commission, led by Judge Sir Gary Hickinbottom, recommended that BVI have its constitution suspended, its elected government dissolved, and be ruled from London.

The recent arrest of the Premier of BVI on charges related to drug trafficking and money laundering underlines the need for urgent action.

The UK is already responsible for defense and foreign policy in the BVI, a British overseas territory, but Governor-General John Rankin – Queen representative on the island – is now expected to take charge of all BVI domestic policy and budgets.

Will BVI adapt UK standard’s against money laundering and use technology for onboarding and corporate “know your customer”, where most of the system’s customers have never been to the island?

The regulator responsible for the crypto sector is the BVI Financial Services Commission. FSC is an autonomous regulatory authority responsible for regulating, supervising, and inspection of all the British Virgin Islands financial services, including insurance, banking, trustee business, company management, mutual funds business, the registration of companies, limited partnerships, and intellectual property.

It was established in 2001 pursuant to the Financial Services Commission Act, 2001. The commission now oversees all regulatory responsibilities previously handled by the government through its Financial Services Department; protecting the independence of financial services regulation and fulfilling international commitments to the prevention of international white collar crime while safeguarding the privacy and confidentiality of legitimate business transactions.

The commission also has new responsibilities including promoting public understanding of the financial system and its products, policing the perimeter of regulated activity, reducing financial crime and preventing market abuse.

There are an estimated 950,000 companies registered in the islands and the BVI is considered one of the major players in this sector.