BVI News

BVI’s financial secrecy score worsens in the last two years

A section of the main island of Tortola. (BVI News Photo)

The BVI’s ranking for financial secrecy has worsened in the last two years, according to the latest Financial Secrecy Index published by the Tax Justice Network (TJN).

TJN publishes the index once every two years and ranks countries based on how much financial secrecy they supply to the world. 

The 2020 index shows that out of 133 countries listed, the BVI placed ninth.

This makes the territory one of the top 10 financial secrecy hotbeds that enable wealthy individuals to hide their wealth and avoid paying taxes.  

 For the 2018 index, the BVI ranked 16.  

“A higher rank on the index does not necessarily mean a country is more secretive, but that the country plays a bigger role in enabling wealthy individuals and criminals to hide and launder money extracted from around the world,” TJN explained.

The index also grades each country’s legal and financial system with a secrecy score out of 100 where a zero out of 100 is full transparency and a 100 out of 100 is full secrecy. 

For this listing, the BVI received a rather high score of 71 out of 100. Two years ago, that grade was 69 out of 100.

Cayman tops the list

Although the BVI’s ranking worsened, the index placed the territory second in the Caribbean after the Cayman Islands.

In fact, the Cayman Islands is the number-one country on the list, making it the “biggest enabler of financial secrecy in the world”.

Cayman topped famous offshore jurisdictions such as the United States, Switzerland, and Hong Kong.

According to TJN, “Cayman has increased its supply of financial secrecy to the world by 24 percent, moving it up from third on the 2018 index to first on the 2020 index”.

The report said Cayman’s role in global financial secrecy emanates from its hedge fund industry, which uses companies, trusts and limited partnerships that are cloaked in secrecy.

In the meantime, news that the BVI has worsened his position on the biennial financial secrecy index comes just months after the territory was named in the Fincen Files scandal.

The scandal involves more than 2,500 leaked documents that banks sent to the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) between 2000 and 2017.

The leaked documents have, therefore, been called the FinCen Files and involve about two trillion dollars worth of transactions that uncover how some of the world’s largest banks have allowed criminals to move ‘dirty money’ around the world.


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  1. Well says:

    Well we all new this and it plays hand in hand with quarter billion dollars drug seizure. The BVI is a link in the criminal drug chain both in import/export and in the hiding of criminal wealth. The … knows all of this and in my estimation allows it to continue and flourish for a fee. This is also the biggest reason the investigation is happening as the UK doesn’t really care about the corrupt government of the BVI but does care about drug smuggling into the US and money laundering. Be prepared people for some big changes. The Brits have been telling you for years to get ready and you did nothing. You are losing the financial sector and your fools in the government have lost the Tourism sector. You are now going to be dead in the water. Better figure out a plan to survive and do it quickly. I suggest handing of the government to the Brits as they will be bound to relieve the issues. If the local crooks remain in power you are doomed to a fate seen in Haiti.

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    • @Well says:

      Where the F**K in the BVI can you hide wealth? You can hardly open a regular bank account here because we don’t have real banking. The same jurisdictions where these self-proclaimed agencies are based, are the ones where the monies are. I guess the Russian Oligarchs billions are in Republic and First Bank in Road Town, while they own the buildings on Wickahms Cay right? The real dirty money is in New York, London, Switzerland and this is known to all. These fake agencies that have zero clue what we do here can publish what they want, it does not make it the truth. Why is it ok for someone’s personal bank account to be private but not someone’s company with a bank account and/or assets? What is so criminal about privacy?

      Like 6
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      • @@Well says:

        You are truly a moron and a product of the BVI. Allow me to give you a quick edumacation dumba**. The BVI provides a haven for criminals to open corporations. Once a corporation exists and the beneficial owner is secret, the owner can now open a bank account anywhere in the world using the corporate papers. Try very hard to understand this as soon the owners of these corporations will be made public and once that happens there is no need for the BVI. Next stop is becoming Haiti. Any questions?

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  2. Doh says:

    Well that just assures us of being placed on the EU black list

    Adios financial sector

    Carry on

    Like 13
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    • Yup says:


      Another nail in the coffin I’m afraid…

      The good thing is rent should start to drop as work permit holders and expats will be leaving. Lots of housing space will open up. Landlords scared for sure

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  3. Disgusted says:

    Independence must be a priority ???

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    • Lol says:

      Independence won’t help. That my friend will ensure a permanent spot on the blacklist.

      We can no longer cry tears and scream of colonialism. We’ve been on our own for over 50 years and made our own mess. Someone, not from here, is going to have to help us as we have proven we cannot help ourselves

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    • ROTFPML says:

      I agree the UK is becoming a financial burden to the BVI

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    • Disgusted says:

      What scares me the most are the people who don’t recognize sarcasm ?

  4. ok says:

    and Cayman is top of the list because they enjoy a good relationship with the UK, unlike the BVI, the government isthe problem and just a heads up if the BVI does go independent all the money willleave the country as who would trust a courupt government with Billions , all they nee to do is take over the companies that already have director signatures from people in the BVI FS.

  5. Headline Correction says:

    The score worsened (past tense). Not worsens.

  6. BVI lawyer says:

    I think that tells us very little about all the changes in BVI law, but a very great deal about the aims and objectives of the Tax Justice Network.

    Like 10
    • No says:

      No, TJN is the only organization that monitors and measures secrecy in the financial services sector in any detail, holding its actions up against the industry’s own claims and against the international rules. Just because you don’t like the findings of TJN’s reports, it doesn’t mean they have no merit.
      If they praised the BVI, I think you’d love them.
      Many of you working in this industry don’t accept any criticism of it all. Deep down its because if you did, you would look like you have no scruples or ethics, helping the wealthy horde more and more of the world’s wealth away from social systems that rely on that wealth – and of course many criminals are among them.
      Take just a short step back, however, and it’s plain as day – that’s what you do, and that’s what the BVI does, too.

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      • @No says:

        sorry that is patently incorrect. TJN is a propaganda group that has been routinely debunked including their tables and “stats” which are often based on false or nonsensical bases, in order to further their aims.

        You clearly have no genuine raw data or rudimentary understanding
        so you would be foolish to comment further without doing some reading.

        • @@No says:

          Don’t see any data on your reply which is much like a Fox News or Trump Republican rebuttal of facts that everyone can see are true but they don’t like. You know, like when someone says there’s a climate crisis and they say, ‘no all scientists are lying and have an anti Republican agenda and look my Koch funded study shows the world is getting healthy at a faster rate than ever … ‘
          Where are your alternative stats, KellyAnne?

      • Albion says:

        The Tax Justice Network is an anti-tax haven pressure group. They are entitled to their opinion, but their data is often debunked by credible social scientists because they skew their results to suit a particular political agenda.

  7. tola says:

    please show the index with the rankings

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  8. GTFOH says:

    This is B.S, all BVI registered companies must provide proof of tax residency to prove that they pay taxes elsewhere or meet substance requirements in the BVI. The directors of all companies are required to be filed. We have so many laws to prevent and deter money laundering it doesn’t pay to be negligent.

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    • @GTFOH says:

      Man you are truly delusional. If these companies weren’t trying to avoid paying taxes and disclosing where money comes from there would be no need to have a company set up in the BVI. These companies/people pay taxes in their home countries but just a fraction of what they should be paying. The BVI Laws and Rukes are set up just so this can occur. Are you really that stupid?

      Like 8
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      • @@GTFOH says:

        GTFOH is probably not stupid but too close to the action to see the battlefield.
        You are 100% correct. A BVI company is a vehicle for avoiding paying something somewhere it should be being paid – most often tax but plenty of other scenarios exist.
        Imagine I start a business in St. Kitts that enables BVIslanders to avoid paying Social Security, NHI, Payroll and Land Tax to BVI gov.
        All legal in St. Kitts, of course.
        The BVI? Well, we can’t do anything about it.
        Imagine thousands of us doing that.
        You’d see a government SCREAMING about how much we need that tax revenue, how everyone needs to pay our taxes because civil servants won’t get paid, schools can’t run and hospital can’t open so people will die before their time, etc. etc!
        And yet we march on the street to retain the ‘right’ to act like St. Kitts in this hypothetical scenario – to be a downspout into which money disappears.
        We kick against our dirty international reputation, as if it isn’t there for a reason. It is.

        Like 5
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      • @@GTFOH says:

        Tax planning and proper structuring of business organizations is not illegal so cut the BS. These witch hunts are politically and idiotically motivated and supported by ignorant people like yourself. The same places accusing us of nonsense can set up a company for you in 2 mins just using a drivers license, no proper background checks, compliance, no agents or regulations involved, just turn and burn. It’s all about envy but the BVI has been battling this for over 30 years and continues to shine and WILL CONTINUE to shine!

        Like 4
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        • Envy? says:

          Are you freaking serious? Does your patriotism seriously make you believe that big countries in the world are against secrecy in international finance because they are ENVIOUS of the BVI and Cayman and others? They focus such enormous resources to stopping g is doing what we do, even though it is exactly same as they can do back home in 2 minutes, you say, – and all because they are jealous of our micro islands and tiny small group of families that live here?
          Your delusions of BVI greatness know no bounds. And always, always the victim.

      • BVI lawyer says:

        I have worked as an offshore lawyer for over 20 years. In my estimation probably no more than 15-20% of companies formed offshore are formed for tax structuring purposes. Whenever someone says to me “The only reason someone forms a company in BVI is to avoid tax,” that immediately tells me that they don’t really understand the industry at all, and they certainly have never worked in it. That might have been true back in 70s and 80s, but it is absolutely not true today. People structure offshore for a lot of different reasons; tax mitigation is a part of it, but it is a much, much smaller part than lay people generally assume.

        • This? says:

          “A BVI company is a vehicle for avoiding paying something somewhere it should be being paid – most often tax but plenty of other scenarios exist.”
          You think 20% but maybe more? Either way, how true is this?

  9. Chew says:

    2 bickering twits. It’s in between as usual. “ directors of all companies are required to be filed. “ not shareholders so paper soldier line there.
    It’s Russian money bleeds into uk and screws their people and social nets.
    Uk money gets lost but not so much as the Russ Chinese USA

    Why doesn’t Uk, though, themselves require name and people on companies real estate buys and bank Accts? Their London real estate kettle would blow top , and props has parliament in check, as they hold that land as rich limeys.

  10. FBI says:

    When all is said and done only the small people suffer, taxing money sending to loved ones that has to be worked for so hard, I hope the world will become a better place for the lower class people.

  11. SB says:

    This index was released a year ago, why are you just covering it now?

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