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Return to BVI by March 31, financial service providers told

Governor Augustus Jaspert delivering the Throne Speech in the House of Assembly today, March 1.

By Davion Smith, BVI News Journalist

Government wants local financial service providers who temporarily relocated to other jurisdictions after the September 2017 hurricanes to return to the British Virgin Islands by the end of this month.

These financial service providers were allowed to operate outside the BVI if the hurricanes had affected their local base of operations.

They were legally permitted to operate in other countries because of the Financial Services (Continuity of Business) Act, which passed in the House of Assembly after the hurricanes.

You’ve received enough time

But, while delivering the Throne Speech on Thursday (March 1), Governor Augustus Jaspert said it is time for these providers to return.

“Our government believes that it has provided reasonable accommodation to the territory’s financial services players to transition out of and back into the territory as we continue to recover from the effects of the two hurricanes we experienced in September 2017.”

“It is our government’s hope, therefore, that the financial service businesses that have taken advantage of and benefitted from the sunshine period will now be making preparations to return to the territory no later than the 31st of March 2018 to continue their business operations as required by the various financial services legislation,” the governor said.

Good reason need to stay away

According to the aforementioned Continuity of Business Act, a financial service provider must give ‘good reason’ for not returning.

Otherwise, the provider that fails to return will “be deemed to have left the Virgin Islands permanently and shall be liable to be treated as such,” Section 7, subsection 7 of the Act said.

A number of financial service providers relocated to jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands after last year’s disasters and still continue to operate from there.

Though operating outside of the territory, they are still subject to BVI laws.

The local financial service industry accounts for roughly 60 percent of government’s annual revenue and contributes significantly to the BVI’s gross domestic product.

Copyright 2018 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

30 Comments

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  1. Okay.. says:

    I think that’s fair enough.

    • HMPH says:

      Why did the HoA keep their invited guests waiting whilst they spent the first part of the meeting arguing over minutes of a previous meeting. Nobody really cared whether the minutes accurately recorded whether a member arrived or left the previous meeting early. The guests were there to watch the Governor read the Speach from the Throne. How rude to keep them waiting!!!

  2. R. Jones says:

    Where will they be housed?

    • Educate says:

      It clearly stated that they have the option to give ‘good reasons’ for not returning. Not finding lodging will be a ‘good reason’ surely…

  3. Tiny Tim says:

    Where’s he putting them when they get back? Ritter House kind of full. Hardly anything in Road Town has been restored to completion.

  4. West says:

    How can they call the police, when they criminal sons giving them thousands of dollars every week?

  5. Rubber Duck says:

    Might be a stand off here. If the govt cuts off their licenses they are going to lose revenue.

  6. John says:

    Do we have the infrastructure in place for them to come Back? The workers come back where are they going to live? Who can afford the high rent? What I wish is that they never come back the BVI is a parasitic country.As a BVIslander, we need to do better. I have noticed that our politicians are sidestepping what needs to be done. Rental control organization
    is important.Another issue that bothers me as a son of this soil is the sense of entitled me we have here when we go to other countries to live or even our motherland we are treated with respect but here we want to have expatriate clean our s*&t and pay then little and nothing charge them high rent, high labour, and immigration fees. Shame on my people we will get another IRMA/MARIA because we are horrible as a nation.Do you see the crimes it is going to escalate? Made God be Merciful to us because even HE as a limit as well.

    • Speak it loud says:

      Speak it loud,speak it proud my sister. They are gonna lose everything because of their pride. Look how they are treating people seeking to work some FOR FREE.

    • expat says:

      preach it my brother

      • Hmmm says:

        Yes, then preach it to the contractors and workers who steal your every penny and material, then preach it to the banks that charge twice your cost estimate to pay back over 20 plus years, then preach it to insurance companies that hold you by the seed just bc your property is tied to the bank, then preach it to the families of landlords that need to be fed, then preach it to the no good tenants who move in and don’t want to pay nor leave. then keep preaching it. Preach it my brother! Keep Preaching it!

  7. John says:

    Do we have the infrastructure in place for them to come Back? The workers come back where are they going to live? Who can afford the high rent? What I wish is that they never come back the BVI is a parasitic country.As a BVIslander, we need to do better. I have noticed that our politicians are sidestepping what needs to be done. Rental control organization
    is important.Another issue that bothers me as a son of this soil is the sense of entitled me we have here when we go to other countries to live or even our motherland we are treated with respect but here we want to have expatriate clean our shit and pay then little and nothing charge them high rent, high labour, and immigration fees. Shame on my people we will get another IRMA/MARIA because we are horrible as a nation.Do you see the crimes it is going to escalate? Made God be Merciful to us because even HE as a limit as well.

  8. expat says:

    ok a few reason why not to return, no security, bad road, very bad telecommunication services and very expensive, no cable, no place to live and most important of all there is little office space available.

  9. ???? says:

    Why are you guys so negative? There are a lot of companies that have fixed their spaces or relocated and can accommodate the return of their workers. There are some who were not so lucky so surely they will fall under the category of those giving ‘good reasons’ for not returning? There is a reason for this and if people read the article in its entirety they would understand. They’re basically saying if you can come back please do so and if you can’t, give reasons as in their opinion enough time was given to conduct business from overseas. When you do not understand the legal and other ramifications of what’s happening then you end up speaking foolishly.

  10. stacy says:

    Well said, my brother, some of these politicians have apartments for rent and they do not want price control so they will not fight for change.I know that for a fact because I live close to some and even me the BVIslander cannot pay that rent. They want the expatriates to do so-so. Well another IRMA will definitely come visit us again.We have become a money grabbing nation.

  11. Good reason says:

    I would think a very good reason for not returning is that the BVI is teetering on becoming a third world banana republic, rife with crime and corruption,lacking basic infrastructure and racing headlong into economic collapse.

    Yes, good reason indeed.

    PS…The tourists aren’t coming back either.

    • HMPH says:

      The BVI has always been third world – don’t kid yourself that because we use the US dollar and some of you have lots of money that we are anything other than the third world. Look at our infrastructure, look at our over-manned incompetent and rude civil service. The corruption her is not as bad as in most of the third world, but only because our politicians and civil servants can’t even do corruption efficiently.

  12. Home Boy says:

    Expat, I totally agree with every word you said and I will add that our immigration are not treating the persons return fairly so no one care to return. We will loose a lot of these trust companies, and there are lots of other islands welcoming them with open arms.

  13. No respect says:

    There are clear concessions in the law for extensions.

    The fact that commercial property ownership is a closed shop and no such people have produced office space or even stated to do so in months shows this place up.

    Residential property ownership is also a mess and it makes no sense for work permit holders to own and there aren’t enough houses ready for rent and the rent is now way too high for such appalling product.

    Therefore you are telling people to come back who have no office and no house. Good luck with that. You should blissfully assume that treating people, business, clients, our economy with contempt will in no way entice the people involved to move their business elsewhere where it is valued….

    We have such opportunities right now but can’t seem to get any common sense or reasonableness. We are also at a precipice with conditions, cost of living, and falling security and quality of life. We need some sensible decisions and soon. If tourism and fs goes, what’s left?

  14. Sunshine period? says:

    Losing your home and being displaced and racking up thousands in extra cost with decreasing job security and ruining kids education? What sunshine period? People didn’t just leave because the beer is cooler somewhere, lives and livelihoods remain in turmoil. Some people are so conceited and greedy they are blind to real life.

  15. Sam the man says:

    What sunshine period? Have you no idea how much effort it takes to relocate!!! Be v careful Governer and do not dance to the tune of the “No Direction Party” you’ve had sufficient time to witness first hand what an incompetent party they are with zero accountability from the v top! You enforce this and companies will never return, Tortola is a disaster zone yet the Premier states there has been remarkable recovery – get real…tourists are shunning the area and firms will not return unless the Government gets its house in order and radically changes immigration and labour – where do these employees live ? The roads are disastrous , crime is out of control, all the NDP want to do is redevelop the race course, grow Marijuana and establish a cultural village next to a painted retaining wall – what an absolute Farce…. Get some decent leaders in that know what they are doing instead of these losers….

  16. Fear not says:

    Don’t worry Dr Pickering has this covered … After all agriculture will be taking over as the main economic pillar from finance and tourism in the next few years… At this rate it could be sooner as you will really piss off the finance golden goose that contributes to most of the BVI’s wealth! Go grow some weed and all will be ok…. Breed some rare donkeys as most of what the NDP does makes them look like real asses!!!

  17. Rubber Duck says:

    What are companies but a collection of people? From coversations with them I know that many of the people in the Trust Companies are fed up with the BVI. Fed up with being treated like criminals by Labour and Immigration. Fed up with the attitudes of some locals and most government employees. Fed up with waiting months and even years to be able to recruit essential people. Fed up with lousy internet at rip off prices. And all this before Irma wrecked the place and Tortola became the murder capital of the world. Now the wives dont want to come back because they are afraid.

    I was just in Cayman where business is welcomed. Investors automatically become residents and there is no crime and no wreckage. Trust companies are growing there.

    Many trust companies will not be coming back imho.

    And without the trust companies and with tourism dying as fast as our young men, then the BVI is going to be as poor as St Vincent or the DR.

    Mad cap agriculture schemes are not going to rescue it.

  18. LOL says:

    What am I reading here – plain ignorance. Good bye Trust Companies, I know you will be very much appreciated in the next country you are going to make your home. No housing, overpriced hardly working Telecommunications, overpriced everything… why would anybody want to come back? Immigration and Labour treating expats like pigs but you all think you have the upper hand.

  19. expat says:

    That is so true, expats should just pack up and leave them let them suffer.they very ungratefull. i have seem some nice people very loyal to the country, just lost their job because of the hurricane and they send them home. I am praying that God send something wicked than hurricane irma to destroyed the b..v.i, because they very badminded. These people worst than the sons and daughters of the devil. soon they will have to look rescue in a nother man’s land. afterall them aid other people country send for them, this is how the repay them. Next time it wont be any help for them.

  20. Ungreatful says:

    All those of you who are on here wishing the worst for the Bvi should pack up and leave. Every place have laws so why should the BVI be any different. A lot of Expats recognize that the BVI gave them and thier families a life that they would not have enjoyed hsd they stsyed in their country of birth. So before you bash the BVI think of how your life was before you decided to migrate to the BVI.

  21. Wow! says:

    Let every negative word spoken over The BVI fall powerless to the ground in Jesus’ Name

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