The British Virgin Islands has been listed as the most competitive financial centre in the Caribbean and Latin America.
They received this rating in the 29th edition of the biannual Global Financial Centres Index — which ranks competitiveness based on a global online survey of more than 10,000 respondents who evaluate 126 financial services centres worldwide.
The territory ranked 58th on the index, outperforming other regional jurisdictions such as Barbados who was the closest behind at 64th.
The BVI improved its standing by 14 places.
“It is good to see the BVI increase its ranking in this global index. This is testament to the continued hard work of our outstanding financial services sector and the BVI’s world-class and progressive financial regulatory regime,” said the CEO of BVI Finance, Elise Donovan.
The territory’s improved ranking on the global index comes as the BVI grapples with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that crippled the tourism sector.
‘Exceptional Circumstances’ Act keeping sector afloat
But as one of the territory’s two economic pillar struggles, the other — financial services — was able to stay afloat thanks to legislation such as the Financial Services (Exceptional Circumstances) Act, 2020.
The legislation — which the Andrew Fahie administration introduced in April 2020 — allows for stability of financial services operations, conducted in and from the territory during extraordinary situations like the pandemic.
And with the effects of COVID-19 still present, the BVI Financial Services Commission has moved to extend the deadline for the Act to remain active from March 31, 2021 to September 30.
In the meantime, the top jurisdictions on the Global Financial Centres Index are New York, London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Shenzhen, Frankfurt, Zurich, and Vancouver.
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