BVI News

Finance Minister seeks to cut BVI’s over-reliance on financial services

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr Natalio Wheatley has indicated that the BVI’s over-reliance on its financial services industry, one of its two main economic pillars, should not be allowed to continue.

The Premier was at the time addressing some of the challenges faced by the BVI as it navigates the implementation of the Commission of Inquiry’s (COI) recommendations through its proposal to the United Kingdom (UK).

In terms of government revenue, the Finance Minister said he does not expect that, moving forward, financial services will be able to play the role it has in the past.

“We face challenges to our financial services industry which is of course something that [has] been very well regulated and we’ve had some very strong leadership in financial services for many years,” Premier Wheatley said on the Umoja radio show recently.

He noted that the territory’s tourism industry – the second of its two economic pillars — is something that would have to be strengthened, along with other efforts aimed at diversifying the BVI’s economy.

“Our financial services sector will continue to be well regulated and we will continue to do what we have to do to meet our obligations, but of course the over-reliance on financial services from a government revenue side is something that we can no longer afford to do. It presents too much risk,“ Dr Wheatley stated.

Premier Wheatley pointed to the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the COI itself as major challenges encountered by the territory in recent years and explained that the government still has a number of areas to complete as it seeks to address the territory’s hurricane recovery efforts.

He expressed that the government‘s plan is centred on reprioritising.

The territory’s leader said this has been one of the most challenging five-year periods in the history of the Virgin Islands and expressed that it will take a balancing act as the BVI moves forward.


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  1. Old news says:

    repeated every few weeks with no SOLUTIONS ever suggested. Reads like the Unity government has run out of ideas.

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    • Albion says:

      Every government talks about ending reliance on financial services and opening up other areas of the economy. But they never go anywhere. Successive governments are just incapable of fostering economic growth without micromanagement and drowning people in red tape. I expect this will go the same way.

      Like 18
    • Sooooo says:

      So you want to increase the Tourism sector but won’t allow outside investors to build hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, golf courses unless the ruling families have their hands in the investors pockets. Good luck with increasing tourism. Third World minds keeping the land in the Third World. But…. here’s a first clue Slow Andy, tourists want reliable high speed internet. You got that at all the Villas and Yachts. Last, since you are trying to attract tourists that are 90% white, perhaps actually have whites on your tourist boards that know the market. Lmfao

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      • Blakka says:

        Why you want to bring in more white people in the mix? You retarded or you white too? Can’t you see the whites still have their feet on our necks?

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        • Boyy says:

          I white. And you dumb stunt chattin dis fk have no fkn clue about economy. Look at the market. 95% white and you want to chat fk to my skin tone people ? All a we leave y’all thankless bird sanctuary folk to grow gords and make charcoal. Other places to go. And when we white folk who count local people as their brother but hear this sht from enough of you. You done. We done tell we people some islands don’t like us whites, you fkn toast. Keep it up. I clean u clock on my way out.

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      • BS says:

        So is only whites that know the short term villas market and yachting market? Racist arrogance you have!

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    • Slow one says:

      The BVI does everything in its power to keep tourism out. You charge a “white tax” upon entering (better known as environmental tax), the customs and immigration staff are nasty and belligerent, you raid the yachts in the middle of the night, provide poor poor internet, no hotels, no golf courses, no tennis, no pickle ball, no nothing. So how are you going to become a tourism mecca? Perhaps for drug dealers, murderers and politicians on the run.

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      • Negative says:

        Your comment spews negativity! We do not have the flat land mass for golf course so go the f$@k over to St. Croix to play golf. Hotels? Remember Irma and Maria in 2017 and hotels still trying to catch themselves. Tennis? Go to the BVI Sports club. Pickle Ball? The only pickle there needs to be is the one up your a**e!

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        • @Negative says:

          And you and ones like you are the reasons why the BVI will never be a tourist mecca. It’ll continue just as it is attracting the yachting crowd where they can enjoy the beauty of this UK Territory without much contact with the ugly locals.

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          • Local says:

            @ NEGATIVE you blogg alot of s**t and racist remark to hide behind a computer state your name and you will see how ugly we can get. You come here and believe because of your skin colour you better than the locals dont turn us into St Croix now .

  2. hmm says:

    We dont have no choice with the UK on a mission to kill it.

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    • @hmm says:

      Wake up. The current UK government is NOT trying to kill financial services in the BVI.
      It is the exact gang of rich, white, privileged thieves that LOVES the financial services. They have money to hide and secret deals to do. And they hate Europe, which is the main source of pressure.
      The Labour Party might come down on us but even then, some here describe them as ‘socialists’, but they are not any more. Being left-ish, they do claim to care more about ethics and fairness and not letting the rich run off with all the gold while the rest of us go hungry. But that’s just on paper.
      Funny thing is, the same people in the BVI who are strong anti colonialist, pro Little Guy, also left-ish, always defend BVI financial services as ‘our right’. Like it’s a good thing. Everywhere else in the world, people with the same left-leaning politics consider financial services to be a wicked, sneaky tool of the oppressor. But here we demand the right to help the oppressor do his wickedness! Go figure.

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      • Foh says:

        It is not a global standard. Until it is, all its doing is putting BVI at a disadvantage. Which is the mission it seem like.

  3. The TRUTH says:

    Because the UK has come to achieve their goal of destroying it..

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  4. Hmm says:

    40 Million taken not to be paid back from Social Security for Covid, and given to friends and family, while the rest of us starved and could not pay bills.

    Irma destroyed homes litter every neighborhood because the Government never gave those owners access to funds to rebuild, so they could rent out the properties in order to pay back, the money loaned by government. Remember that most of the owners were to old to qualify for mortgages.

    How can we strengthen tourism with the BVI still looking demolished from a hurricane that hit 5 long years ago? Shame on the Government for not helping the struggling seniors repair their homes and apartments.

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    • Elephant in the corner says:

      They are not struggling with the stupid rents they want to charge

      Just wait till they kill the finace off and all the high paying managers and staff leave your really going to see some misery who do you think eats out and patrons those restaurants and bars , the entire economy will crash

      This place looks and smells like a garbage dump and that’s on a good day

      i always laugh when someone says ” beautiful BVI” i think what planet are you living on

      Its like you can’t decide if the place is a open tip , a car dump or a container port with the amount spead all over ( and ugly to look at)

      And that is cold hard fact

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  5. Elephant in the corner says:

    The only thing being cut will be your own throats , your bitter about the only thing keeping you afloat , typical no doubt want some sort of backhander from them , cause that is the caribbean way tear down till you get your palm greased

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  6. he's turning off the lights says:

    THIS is def not the transparency called for by the COI report.

    Our corruption outlined in the COI report is so bad, that offshore banking is closing up shop and leaving Dodge. They waited to see if the UK would come in, but they have not, so now they’re outta here- a branch here is seen as bad for global banking business.
    Sowande KNOWS this.

    let’s see what kinda ‘country’ we left with now…
    Airline tickets are up 50% since January. Even the third pillar cartels will stay away for a while at least.

  7. Licker and Sticker says:

    Slow Wande has got to be the slowest Premier we have ever had. What the France is he talking about? What advancements have we made or presented to the market in the Financial Services and Tourism sectors in the last 5 yrs? Whilst we have the lowest minimum wage of any territory or Country that uses US dollars our cost of labour is high and we have no clear advantage to exploit in order to attract new industries. We need to double down on Financial Services it represents the quickest way to turn around this thing. Other jurisdictions are eating our lunch as not one of these Unified A**Clown, including Premier Slow Wande A-Who-R-You, have no clue about what to do. They usurped power with no clear mandate from the ppl or to re group around a strategy for sustainability. They are just a voice for two failed parties, VIP and NDP, trying to save themselves

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  8. Spirit says:

    “Financial Services” is another way to say “Money Laundering”. Money Laundering goes hand-in-hand with drug dealing.

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    • Licker and Sticker says:

      Financial Services means someone’s 401k / Pension or a not-for-profit’s Trust fund, or s start up.(may be the next Facebook that wishes to segregate and safeguard their IP.

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      • Yesss says:

        Nothing wrong with financial services in the BVI. That’s because we moved from being world leaders in hiding money for cartels, criminals, tax dodgers, kidnappers, corrupt government ministers, terrorists and anyone else in the illegal economy — to the world’s cleanest-looking money laundry.
        Those pensions and big corporations that we now point to, they’re a kind of cover for what the industry here was always doing from its beginning – helping clean dirty money and finding clever words to pretend we weren’t.
        If we can say Sony and Apple and pensions and environmental trusts and other words that sound acceptable, we can claim we’re legit. Lose them and we’re back to what were best at – grabbing dirty money, where ever we can find it.

  9. Please says:

    Can we get concrete ideas of how this diversification can be done. It is always this talk about diversification but never a plan or even an idea of how to do this. The only idea to grow the economy, these politicians ever come up with in the last 15 years, apart from the cruise pier, is to build community centers. They are bankrupt of ideas to grow the economy. there is very little to show from the millions earned from the financial services over the years because the money was just distributed like the $40 million from social security. Less talk and more plans and actions. Cayman’s economy is twice that of the BVI. We need people with vision to grow what we have and not just focus on distributing what we have.

    • Licker and Sticker says:

      I was shocked to learn that the Pier Park is privately held. That means that every time a cruise ship pulls up a select number of ppl get paid. So I don’t know if that project was for everyone’s benefit.

  10. Hmmmm says:

    So you do agree that the UK is trying to destroy it.

  11. Liane says:

    I have never understood why research, development and manufacturing of solar energy components was never prioritized at the College or anywhere else in the BVI.

    You have all the raw resources necessary to conduct the necessary research. There always seem to be government grants available for all sorts of things, but never anything REAL that could theoretically put the BVI on the map!

    Where are the intelligent, forward thinkers? WHY aren’t more people pursuing intellectual endeavors that could potentially make them very successful?

    The BVI may not have an abundance of usable land, but you have PLENTY of sun, wind and waves! USE what you do have to your advantage for future growth!!!

    A concerted effort to improve education with a strong, math and science-based curriculum is definitely lacking in the BVI.

    The college could challenge students to come up with a hurricane PROOF residential building that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. There are so many opportunities for economic improvement, but they are just being ignored.

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