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Financial services gets big vote of confidence

Governor Augustus Jaspert

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) financial services industry has received a big vote of confidence from the territory’s brand new governor, Augustus Jaspert, who arrived from the United Kingdom this week.

During a swearing-in ceremony at the High Court in Road Town on Tuesday, Governor Jaspert noted the huge impact the BVI has internationally especially in relation to financial services.

He also noted the international attention that the territory has been getting – albeit negative at times.

Some international players in the industry have continued to label the BVI a tax haven, which they claim facilitates tax evasion and money laundering – claims that the BVI denies consistently.

Governor Jaspert, in a relatively brief reference to the financial services industry, indicated that the BVI has an effective regulatory regme in place.

“The Virgin Islands have so much to be proud of in their history. These are small islands that have a global impact. The hard work, entrepreneurial spirit and welcoming nature of the Virgin Islanders shines through. There have though been other challenging times recently – of rapid change globally, and an international spotlight on the Virgin Islands as an international financial centre.”

“The Virgin Islands has demonstrated the importance of taking pride in effective regulation,” Governor Jaspert declared.

He noted that his role in the BVI includes helping to tackle whatever problem may arise, adding that the future of the territory rests on a strong foundation.

“You have built a strong foundation for the future of prosperous and thriving communities, and I aim to work together towards an even brighter future. That future needs to be shaped by the desires of those who live here and who know their own aspirations.”

“My role is not to direct these, but to engage with all parts of the community to listen; to hear the hopes aspirations, dreams and also the challenges and problems; and to work together to find ways to tackle these,” Governor Jaspert further said.

The BVI financial services industry, which is being restructured following challenges such as declines in company incorporation, directly account for more than 60 percent of Government revenues annually.

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