BVI News

Gov’t not making a decision on public registers could hurt BVI

With the Andrew Fahie government yet to declare their position on whether public registers of beneficial ownership will be implemented in the territory, Governor Augustus Jaspert said the absence of a decision could hurt the BVI.

Effectively, beneficial owners are persons who own property rights to a company even though the legal title of the property is in another person’s name. The aforesaid registers seek to make the identities of these ‘secret owners’ public and other overseas territories are said to have already decided to implement them.

While responding to questions during a local video interview this week, the governor said: “Others will be better placed than me to talk about the financial services industry but there is a risk, for me, that BVI becomes an outlier rather than being one up there [at] the front of the pack.”

“We have successfully, throughout our years in financial services, shown that we are confident, we are innovative, that we get ahead of global trends rather than wait … and that has served us well in the last 25 years or more of our financial services industry,” he added.

Other territories putting measures in place

In addition to the other territories deciding in favour of implementing public registers, Governor Jaspert also said those jurisdictions have taken the extra step to commence the process of developing their own framework.

“Every other inhabited overseas territory and the Crown dependencies, as well, has moved to the position of saying they will put in place public registers themselves and it links a little bit to the debate about self-determination,” he stated.

“The other places have said … we would look at it, we would look at what we need to put in place, we are not going to wait to be told by someone else what the design or what it may need to look like. BVI is the only one that hasn’t at this moment done that and it’s something that I know is a hot topic and one I hope is looked at over the next weeks and months as we go forward on this,” he further stated.

BOSSs one of the best

The governor also spoke highly of the BVI’s Beneficial Ownership Secure Search system (BOSSs), labelling it as one of the best systems that give law enforcement the ability to get information in real-time.

In March 2019, Premier Fahie had said his government’s focus was to convince Britain that the BOSS system was a better alternative to the UK-mandated public registers.

The initial implementation deadline given by the UK was December 2020 but was later extended by an additional three years, following a historic territory-wide protest against the policy in May 2018.

While the UK says public registers deter tax evasion, the BVI has contended that publicising the names of beneficial owners could discourage companies from doing business with the BVI as it relates to financial services.

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

30 Comments

Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. ccc says:

    this ****** governor is speaking too much

    Like 4
    Dislike 37
    • Jonah strikes again says:

      Jonah is now turning his attention to the financial services industry. He admits that others are more knowledgeable than him, but let’s us have his ill informed opinion anyway.
      Please go away and take your Jonah curse with you.

      Like 2
      Dislike 29
    • to: ccc says:

      are you a triple c.*.*.t? Why dont you shut your face?

      Like 8
      Dislike 9
  2. @Governor says:

    Governor, you are being somewhat disingenuous.  The Government has stated its policy which is that it will adopt public registers when it becomes the global standard.  I think what you mean to say is that the Government has not capitulated to the threats of the British government to impose a public register on the VI if it does not do so itself.  

    Like 25
    Dislike 6
  3. Not making decisions? says:

    Not making decisions is beginning to look like the slogan of this government.

    Andrew Talk a Lot Foy

    Like 24
    Dislike 7
    • Leveller says:

      Maybe they have made a decision and it is to introduce public registers immediately on 1 November without notice, like the reopen of the borders secret plan.

      Like 1
      Dislike 2
  4. Leave it to the experts says:

    Best thing is to leave the topic to the experts in financial services. If BOSS allows authorised, and competent regulatory bodies access to the info, why is more access needed again? Does this not present a risk to security of beneficial owners who are likely to be targeted. Now we have a very strong compliance regime in place in the BVI and we have our way of promoting our service to clients who know they are willing to comply with our due diligence requirements (as strict as they are) because they will not be exposed to the world. So tell me governor, please explain to me the legitimate purpose for a public register, if any. Otherwise, please only speak on matters that you have a degree in, with all due respect sir. God save the Queen!

    Like 12
    Dislike 13
    • Experts at what? says:

      BVIslanders, I’m setting up a business to help you avoid paying NHI, Social Security, Payroll Tax, customs duty, Land Tax!
      Yes, our experts can help you use uniquely BVI legal structures that mean you don’t have to contribute a darn penny to your society.
      It will make you richer!
      And the territory poorer.
      But who cares about that?
      8 respirators could have been 500, but too many people are ‘legally’ avoiding paying NHI, thanks to my expert advice on how to not contribute back to the society you are part of.
      Terrible roads? Sorry, not enough government revenue coming in so we can’t afford to fix them. Rough, but good business for me. 😉
      People going hungry? Not sorry. There’s just not enough money in the territory’s piggy bank. Let them starve – they should have worked harder/been more selfish/been born with a better family name.
      Oh, you’re a drug smuggler? Don’t worry, our experts have systems in place to ensure that technically they don’t know this, and for a fee, they will be happy to advise on how to make your money untraceable! Best news? It’s all legal because our lawyers and accountants are experts at this stuff and have crafted laws around this exact scenario!. So yes, it’s ‘legal’!
      Terrorist? – see above.
      Mafia boss, fraudster, thief, extortionist, recipient of an embarrassingly large bribe or just an entitled aristocrat trying perpetuate the wealth that’s been in your family since the days of slavery? No problem. We have protocols to ensure we couldn’t possibly prove you’re doing anything wrong, so we are comfortable helping you shift all that money to an invisible sinkhole that no one can ever trace back to you.
      You’re welcome!
      Beneficial ownership register? On the surface we don’t need one, thanks to BOSS. In reality, the sneakiness continues because, well, if there’s one thing BVI has a lot of, it’s legal and accounting experts. Fear of extortion or kidnapping? Wait, so you care about this now? You didn’t care when you took the same extortion gang’s money and, thanks to our BVI expertise, helped them clean it up and make it look legitimate.
      Client privacy? OK, so the world should be full of companies that no one knows the ownership of? But … where does the buck stop? Whoever actually owns it must be able to stand up and say, ‘yes, this is mine’ – otherwise people might think they are up to no good. And besides, how do we know it’s not being used to launder money or something terrible like that?

      Watch now as haters pretend to care about our community and attack me for criticising this legitimate source of BVI wealth. ‘Oh, our people are good and caring and we have suffered for so long – how dare you criticise us for profiting from other people’s loss? Building a whole economic pillar on the backs of other people’s suffering is our right!’

      Apparently they are correct. This is business and morality should never get in the way of profit – according to the experts.

      Like 5
      Dislike 4
      • Hmmm says:

        Quote from Guardian newspaper:
        “The US research group Global Financial Integrity estimates that $1.1tn a year flows illegally out of poorer nations, stolen from them through tax evasion and the transfer of money within corporations. This practice costs sub-Saharan Africa around 6% of its GDP.
        The looters rely on secrecy regimes to process and hide their stolen money. The corporate tax haven index published by the Tax Justice Network shows that the three countries that have done most to facilitate this theft are the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. All of them are British territories.”

        For more, see this:
        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/10/uk-corrupt-nation-earth-brexit-money-laundering

  5. No need says:

    No need for the government to do anything. The financial service sector is dying and will die regardless of what is implemented. Offshore companies are used to hide wealth and assets. Once it no longer is hidden there is no use for it. Plain and simple Start growing bananas, sugar cane and fish. The Belonger has no further use.

    Like 15
    Dislike 10
    • @ No need says:

      Of course there is much use left for the belonger.

      To. all he nations, families and individuals who his ancestors have made rich and priviledged, has a need today to take back some of that wealth and priviledge.

      Some ah you people so wrapped up in your white priviledges and gatreds that you will not realize that life and karma is natural, but most importantly. cyclical.

      The white race was not always and will not remain in domination of the world. its people, and resources.

      Don’t believe, go ask th . e Black civilizations that introduced the white man to soap, water, cleanliness, richesand civilization

      Like 4
      Dislike 11
      • Really says:

        Your knowledge of history is quite skewed. When did the black man help or teach the white man anything. The black man in Africa doesn’t even have clean water to drink. Everything the black man has world wide including the BVI was handed to them by the white man. Things cycle through? Really? When was the last time in history that the black man was great if ever?.

        Like 4
        Dislike 4
  6. Windy says:

    Need to do this locally for all those running or in office in the BVI ! That will show the real cronies

    Like 13
    Dislike 2
  7. Hmph. says:

    The BVI is in its own league tbh… Can’t compare it to the other territories… The difference is the mentality of the people.

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  8. Anonymous says:

    Agreed completeky. Leave such. matters to the experts. Meanwhile,let’s not remove from our minds though, the many anf various competing agendas, especially those with colonial interest.

    Surprise BVI News is yet to publish that horrible,unforgiveing view of the Gov,, his views on Slavery. Black descendants of those slaves, reparations and his non desire to the renaming of building and momuments of evil, wicked enslavers, rapers and murderers, when there aree so many other decent people, white and Black theose buildings can be named after.

    We can begin with white english abolisionist Black slave revolters and post slavery individuals.

    But to. champion that period of human history and to be in favor of not paying Black peole what they are owed are insults to the hottor this rac was put through by the British, who they made rich and who are enjoying those immense wealthy privilideges because pf Black horrors.

    An human that are insentitive to the plight of the Black history past and present are not human, but devils.

    Frankly, i am appauled as a British citizen, a Local BVIslander and a human being. I am shocked beyond belief that one who is head of state holds such insensitive, inhumae, and hateful views and opinions about us as a people who are directly responsible for him holding the position he finds himself holding.

    The people, and every single elected member of the HOA need to stop and delay all duties, stand up, in formal protest, and voice a vociferous condemnation of that article and ask for his immediate removal.

    We must take lightly those kind of views in the 21st centuey, there are great dangers for us coming from minds that openly speak such ill of us. Of minds which are devoid of fairnes, justice, equality, godliness and basic human decency.

    Like 2
    Dislike 15
    • Lost Lemon says:

      Sorry, but why should today’s Blacks gain from the pains of your ancestors, and why should today’s Whites pay for the sins of their ancestors? (Also being clear that a lot more than white people were involved in the sake and transport of slaves!)

      I agree 100% that what happened is beyond awful, but in this world there are more than enough grievances to go around for the abuses of yesterday’s individuals from every kind of color, country, and religion!

      Where does it stop, or is it your belief that only blacks have ever suffered in this world? In addition, how can today’s generations go back into yesterday’s history and be the judge of what the people of the hour must pay for the sins of another time?

      For the record, I do not have an answer, but surely you cannot sit behind your computer and be held accountable for something your family may have done years ago, and then have the next generation go after your children for your sin/s.

      If so, the courts are going to have one heck of a time settling grievances from race abuses, to theft, to war, and Lord alone knows what else can be brought from yesterday for those generations of today and tomorrow to pay!

      Anyway …. this could go on and on! History has been cruel, it likely always will be, and it is the responsibility of all of us generations (now and future) to be sure that we never repeat such things, fight for those that need help, and work together as one human race.

      I hope that is possible – but rhetoric like this is not going to get any solutions of resolve the horrors of the past in the form of payment!

      Like 22
      Dislike 5
    • Jokes says:

      HOA delay all duties?
      So just continue as per usual then…
      Are you aware that people are starving due to inept or non-decisions by gov?
      And you want to add to that with a ridiculous time wasting Protest?
      Wake up

  9. YOUTH says:

    This Governor is not good for us in the BVI

    Like 3
    Dislike 23
  10. Rightswatch says:

    Guv, BVI shouldn’t follow like sheep. The High Court is hearing a claim that a register would violate privacy rights under the constitution. Please wait for the outcome before making public comments.

    Like 5
    Dislike 5
    • @Rightswatch says:

      The problem that you’re all failing to understand is that the BVI will be blacklisted if it does not follow what the other offshore centers are doing. Already it is very difficult, if not impossible, to open bank accounts for BVI registered companies. Even right here in the BVI!! The world view of BVI is that it is “high risk”. I have spent my entire career working in the offshore finance industry and even I can acknowledge that it is mostly a sham, created to make the rich richer.

      Like 3
      Dislike 2
      • Experts at what? says:

        Thank you! People here dress BVI financial service industry up so that it doesn’t look like a pig when you standing real close.
        Step back and, like the rest of the world, you can see it’s just a pig with a fancy dress and sophisticated makeup.

        Like 3
        Dislike 1
  11. Sister Island says:

    Yes, we need this. Sir Richard and David J are making us all chase our tails. They use these beneficial ownership to get around paying property tax and skipping on building permits. Who you going to go after if the owner of the land is just a holding company run by a legal firm?
    Here is an example: Beneficial Owner of an island sells ‘shares’ in the company to a subdivision owner – BINGO no land transfer fee (technically the land was not sold again even though the beneficial owner pocketed $9 million for a lot).
    Example 2: Beneficial Owner violates land covenants when building. Neighbor now has to deal with a law firm and hire his own lawyers to fight the violation (neighbor blows thousands of $s going back and forth while the owner hides behind the BVI Fake Name).
    Beneficial Ownership benefits only the super rich and screws over the rest of us. Thank you Gov. Jasperts for standing up for the little guy on this issue!

    Like 8
    Dislike 3
  12. Napoleon code says:

    Correction Gus, the Crown Dependencies have clearly stated that they fully support the registers in question, bur, when it becomes an International standard, not before. The difference, is, the UK can force the OT’s to introduce the registers’, but, not the Crown Dependancies as this would cause a Constitutional crises as the UK could not enforce such a ruling.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  13. Xpressurself says:

    Those loopholes concerning land transfers were known by Government for over 30 years.
    Can’t they be closed by amending the laws when and where real property is involved??

  14. He must resign says:

    What about his ****** statement on 284?

  15. @Lost Lemom and his Massers. says:

    Imagine being trapped on a boat, stacked like this….for weeks, sometimes months. Suffering from malnutrition, beatings, rape, and if you got too sick from the unsanitary conditions, you were thrown overboard to the sharks. Or they just let you die in chains….sandwiched between the living.

    If you rebelled even a little bit, you were thrown overboard to the sharks.

    After enduring all of this…you were sold in markets like cattle and worked to death. Your children and their children and their children’s children lived their entire lives out in bondage.
    And none were ever able to go back home.

    Our ancestors endured unimaginable brutalities. When we remember our ancestors, we must remember this.

    I honor those that have come before me. I honor those who sleep beneath the waves.

    Any Blaack man that does not have that basic sense pride and appreciation for and of ancestorship should not be alive. One should not disregard, disgrace and sidqualify the ones that gave one breath and expect to live a prosperous life. The ancestors get angry to.

    Like 1
    Dislike 3
    • Lost Lemon says:

      I guess you missed my whole point. I never said forget, or forgive. What was done was disgusting. The question posed was two fold… (1) how do we move on from the sins of the father, and (2) how do we forge ahead as brothers?

      But judging by your post, you seem to desire us all being at each other’s throats for a past none of us today had control of.

      Like 10
    • Look without seeing says:

      Regardless of race all our ancestors were subject to atrocities. History is not kind. It’s funny how the Asian man looks to the future and lives in it whilst the African looks at the past and still lives there.

      It’s all your choice. Don’t pretend otherwise.

  16. NDP says:

    IT SEEMS LIKE THE VIP WANTS THIS GOVERNOR GONE

    Like 2
    Dislike 1

Leave a Comment

Shares