BVI News

Governor’s Office assessing impact of EU Court ruling

Governor Rankin

The Governor’s Office has stated that it will be working with personnel in the BVI and the United Kingdom to determine how the BVI may be affected by this week’s ruling handed down by the European Union Court.

For some years now, the EU has been forcing many countries to publicise the names of the persons who own companies in their local financial services industries. It is believed that this will reduce the number of wealthy people who hide their wealth in other jurisdictions.

However, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), this week ruled that it is unlawful for its member countries to make registers of beneficial ownership for companies fully accessible to the public. The court said making these names public would be “invalid” and would constitute a breach of people’s fundamental human rights.

In light of the ruling, BVI News asked the Governor’s Office whether the new ruling will affect the BVI in any way. Our news centre was informed that the Governor’s Office still believes the BVI should work towards creating publicly accessible company registers as it works to determine the impact the new court ruling could have on the territory.

“The Governor’s Office will work with colleagues both in the territory and the UK to understand the implications of the recent judgement by the ECJ and will continue to support work towards publicly accessible registers of beneficial ownership,” a spokesperson from the Governor’s Office said.

Beneficial owners are persons who enjoy the benefits of ownership in a company even though the title of the company is in another person’s name. Making the registers public would reveal the names of many persons who have assets in other jurisdictions but are not being taxed by their home countries.

However the CJEU said the general public’s access to information on beneficial ownership constitutes a serious interference with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data, enshrined in Articles 7 and 8 of the EU Charter, respectively.

The Court also found that the information disclosed in the register enables a potentially unlimited number of persons to find out about the material and financial situation of a beneficial owner.

While the BVI is among a group of Overseas Countries and Territories that cooperate with the EU, it is unclear how this ruling is likely to impact the BVI in the future given that it has had its own share of challenges with resisting the implementation of a public register.

The government previously indicated that it remains committed to collaborating with the United Kingdom government to create publicly accessible registers of beneficial ownership for companies in the territory.

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10 Comments

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  1. Tasty says:

    The EU judgment should be the end of the ludicrous calls for beneficial ownership and directorship details of companies, whether in the BVI or elsewhere, to be public – but the unelected administrators in the EU and the UK Civil Service (and socialist politicians) will no doubt continue the assault on individual rights to privacy.

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  2. The TRUTH says:

    Put that in their pipe and smoke it lol

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  3. Get out! says:

    We need these people out of our country. They mean no good for us. They are deceivers and liars.

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  4. Real says:

    Get them out set a demons

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  5. We’re British..not EU says:

    Assess meaning that he’ll await instructions from the FCO and see what Sunak decides is equitable for he British economy. Might be limited public access but still possible! Will wait and see as the roaches were scurrying for cover and might have a possible way out….

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  6. apache says:

    The governor now has a colored boss

  7. Right to Privacy says:

    This CJEU decision will undoubtedly be challenged in the future and eventually be overturned later in this century or the next.

    US women thought their right to an abortion was secured by the US Supreme Court 1973 Roe v Wade decision and poof it’s gone in 2022.

    These final courts of appeal around the globe slowly change judges through the decades to keep pace with changing human values so what is illegal today becomes legal in the next century.

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  8. Something Tells Me says:

    This is the reason for Fahie’s set up. It’s a pity he fell for it according to their story. When will we stop condoning this evil invasion on our planet.
    Oh I’m a christian….you’re a coward fool sucking up to madness.

  9. progress says:

    Now is the time for collaboration across the Overseas Territories and a serious legal challenge along the same lines. The courts of England & Wales are of course different but there are similar laws governing the human right to privacy. There must be clever clogs lawyers who can overturn the UK’s current position to a pragmatic way forward protecting from public registers while enabling the authorities using their authority in a proper way.

    The Governor’s office, while of course being the representative of the King and his Government, ought to properly direct itself in this way rather than acquiescing without proper scrutiny of the directives coming down the pike from London.

    The UK and OTs are going to look seriously out of step if they do not modify their position which, over time, will be catastrophic for financial services in the UK, CDs and OTs.

  10. reply to tasty says:

    Tasty, please read the article in the link below – sadly too many greedy politicians and criminals hide their stolen assets behind shadowy businesses. We have had to rely on Paradise Papers and other leaks to expose these unscrupulous crooks up until now. People in BVI should pay attention as politicians and self-proclaimed aristocracy here have stolen millions from public coffers over the years – proven by the appalling infrastructure and lack of development despite having 4th highest GDP in the Caribbean. BVI should be like Cayman and Bermuda – instead it is like a third world country.

    “…[Isabel] dos Santos…has faced corruption accusations for years, including allegations by Angola in 2020 that she and her husband had steered $1 billion in state funds to companies in which they held stakes during her father’s presidency, including oil giant Sonangol.”

    https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/interpol-issues-arrest-warrant-angolas-dos-santos-lusa-news-agency-2022-11-18/

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