BVI News

It’s best to adhere to UK new law on company registers — Governor

Governor Jaspert

Governor Augustus Jaspert is advising that it is in the BVI’s best economic interest to implement publicly accessible registers in accordance with a new draft order released by the United Kingston.

Last week, Britain published a draft order that outlines the guidelines OTs must abide by as they all move to implement systems that reveal the owners of the offshore companies they register. The policy — which is called the Overseas Territories (Publicly Accessible Registers of Beneficial Ownership of Companies) Order — says any person from the general public should be able to use the internet and request information on owners of companies registered by the financial services industries in all OTs.

But Premier Andrew Fahie has told the UK government that the BVI “has significant reservations regarding the Draft Order”.

Following this response, BVI News asked Governor Jaspert to state the best course of action he believes the BVI should take. A written response from the Governor’s office said: “The Governor supports any legislation or initiatives that would help make BVI a more transparent place.”

Protect BVI’s economy, reputation

Governor Jaspert said the BVI should consider adhering to the draft order as it has advantages for the BVI’s economy and its reputation.

“The financial services industry is a critical part of BVI’s economy and therefore it’s important we stay ahead of the curve. This move puts BVI and our financial services sector at the forefront of global efforts to improve transparency and stop the flow of illicit finance. We believe it’s in BVI’s best interest – economically and reputationally,” the response said.

The draft order states that a register is “publicly accessible” if, and only if the information contained in it may be accessed by any member of the general public AND the means by which such information may be accessed include through a request submitted through the Internet.”

But in his response, Governor Jaspert explained that this doesn’t mean companies’ information will be posted on a website for all to see.

“We understand that some may have concerns about privacy and security – the draft order makes allowances for this. To be clear ‘publicly accessible registers’ does not mean that personal information of company owners is listed on a website for all to see,” Governor Jaspert’s statement explained.

“What it means is that the public can submit a request to access information on company ownership. That request will then be assessed by relevant authorities. Once they are satisfied there are no security or other risks to sharing the information, it will be released,” the statement said.

Last week, the BVI government said it was already regulating the financial services industry with the Beneficial Ownership Secure Search system (BOSSs) which the BVI established in 2017.

BOSSs is different from the system the UK is proposing because it doesn’t share personal information with the general public but only with “relevant law enforcement agencies to prevent financial crime”.

At this point, it is unclear what consequences the BVI’s financial services industry will face if the territory doesn’t implement publicly accessible registers in accordance with the UK’s new policy.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

24 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. Teacher says:

    This is straight out of the playbook of the UN and there agenda 21. The great reset and the transfer of wealth. This poor government have no choice in this matter. Gus being the uk man on the ground here has to make sure that these mandates are carry out before he leaves.

    Like 13
    Dislike 4
    • @Teacher says:

      Gus is gone…and you should join him. Who cares what to all think? You’re just onlookers.

      Like 1
      Dislike 4
      • 1st district says:

        @ teacher, go spend some time on the UN website and get educated. Anď while your are there convince the Primer about the responsibilities of carryout their Covid mandate to us and recieving the good boy plaque from the WHO!!

  2. SMH says:

    BVI Infrastructure at Risk. Offshore Companies and Other Entities are listed in the Official Gazette.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
    • Blah says:

      Blah Blah, next downfall story BVI News!

      • 1st district says:

        So we still talking INDEPENDENCE!When London ready to take back Financial Services and the use of the US dollar where will be be heading then. Don’t say tourism, we are already putting it out there about our racist feelings. So how can we want them for their money to survive??

  3. Request for info says:

    What I would like to know is how much is it costing us for the Governor and his family to have Christmas in the UK, and then to return to the BVI for a few days before his enforced recall to the UK 9 months early. Whilst I am delighted to see him go, paying for this trip so he can be at home for Christmas and then back in the BVI to clear his desk seems like a waste of money.

    Like 18
    Dislike 20
    • @requestforinfo says:

      Given the stringent rule implications against the UK at the moment, I can see that He won’t back in the BVI in the New Year…flights are cancelled and people receiving vouchers for future flying in 2022…LOL

      Like 7
      Dislike 3
  4. Hmmmm says:

    Banks don’t do it, why should the registry? Is there a mechanism for us to request account information of any company or person? NO! So why would it make sense to do this for companies? There are already measures in place for authorities to access whatever information they need via the right channels so this is just BS while the goal post continues to shift.

    Like 12
    Dislike 2
  5. Rubber Duck says:

    The best beneficial owners would be UK companies. You can create a UK company for $50 in 5 minutes on line. There are no checks whatsoever on the validity of the directors or owners. It would be possible to register the BVI company as the sole director of the UK company. Thus creating a closed loop.

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
  6. 007 says:

    Honestly what response did any reasonable person expect from the governor? The governor’s ultimate duty is to do the bidding of the UK. He does not have an obligation to serve the people of the BVI as he was chosen by the UK for the UK and was not elected by the people of the BVI. He will soon leave the BVI and like many of his predecessors never set foot in the BVI ever again. Law enforcers should be the only people that have a right to know who the owners are when there is a valid reason why they should know. The current system in place is the most appropriate way to go. I thought this was about fighting potential crime but it’s clear that the aim is not to expose criminal element but hoping to eliminate financial services in the BVI. Why would UK want to cripple the finances of one of their dependent territory? Seems like there is a hidden ulterior motive behind these actions because it makes no sense logically.

    Like 16
    Dislike 4
  7. atourist says:

    Sorry that is not strictly true, Companies House in the UK do now check identities and do look for dubious holding companies (https://www.bdo.co.uk/en-gb/insights/business-edge/business-edge-2019/directors-identities-to-be-verified-by-companies-house). I am afraid the BVI is going to have to accept change to the structure of its corporate register, both the EU and the US have stated that the current arrangements for off shores is unacceptable and that they will apply a lot more pressure to those tax shelters where there may be a risk of tax fraud or criminality. I also think that Companies House do not make a big deal out of director and corporate identities as they are very actively looking for fraud and unexplained wealth.

    It doesn`t matter how you envisage your financial service sector is going to look in a few years time, if you can not operate without an above board beneficial register don’t operate, it will come home to haunt you.

    The BVI still have great tax advantages over many other countries but it has to be clean money you cant sit there and be complicit in money laundering and tax fraud and please don’t come up with the excuse I keep on seeing on here that its alright to do because other countries do it. You all seem to get rather excited when you see your BVI tax dollars poorly spent or worse.

    (BTW, as everyone commenting on BVI News seems to get very excited about who is commenting, UK national based in the UK who has visited the BVI every couple of years since 1991…)

    Like 9
    Dislike 5
    • @atourist says:

      Not concerned.

    • Scapegoat says:

      The bvi has an ‘above board’ financial system for years we have stayed ahead of global standards. Jumping through hoops to a ever moving goal post. We have stayed off blacklists because of our transparency including the BOSS system.

      Put your money laundering concerns to bed. Tell us the flaws in BOSS that publicly accessible registers will solve, if any…. Open your eyes to the propaganda your being fed.

      This is about appeasing the U.K. and EU population. The richest people throwing the blame for lack of taxes on the disadvantaged overseas territories, on the descendants of the displaced black people. It’s a shame.

      The poor EU middle class have no bread. Instead of saying if they have no bread let them eat cake… which didn’t work out well.. they have found someone to blame, the scapegoats.

      How about middle & low class Europeans turn to the real source of missing tax dollars, the war mongering elite and moderate spending of that squeaky clean money, much of which goes/went to killing brown people overseas. Fact. Whether you think they are evil or not is besides the point that massive amounts of tax went to funding wars which required lies to justify and make palatable

      Weapons of mass destruction Pshhh. Pure lies to justify killing people and exert control over an oil rich region. Shameful. We soaked it up. We were more gullible then. The soldiers soaked it up. Tragic. In this modern age we are ever deceived and swayed by the media and sensationalism. How many weapons of mass destruction did they find?

      Through these lies they create Problems for their lucrative and discriminatory Solutions. It’s called regime change, the war on terror. It’s called prohibition, the war on drugs. It’s called a tax haven.

      Who really benefits from tax havens? Wealthy people. Who gets the blame? Poor people. What a coincidence.

      Babylon is a self serving confusion.

      Martin Luther King Jr had a dream of light in the midst of darkness. He reminds us that for people of color things aren’t right and we struggle that they may come to be right, sincerely.

      As for Europeans historically there is a divide between the upper and lower classes, nobles and commoners.

      Is publicly accessible beneficial registers a political move to bridge that divide? An attempt to pacify the commoners while keeping the overseas -colored- territories down.

      Fight for the truth in this new regular of Elite curated mass media. 1984.

      Truth increases tolerance globally. Meet us half way with BOSS.

      “It doesn`t matter how you envisage your financial service sector is going to look in a few years time, if you can not operate without an above board beneficial register don’t operate, it will come home to haunt you.”

      That’s some real George Floyd knee on our neck oppression mentality.

  8. Kkk says:

    The governor supports this wicked move against the people?

    Like 4
    Dislike 6
  9. :) says:

    On one hand the UK is saying that they want all their dependent territories to be totally independent financially but yet they are trying to cut off one of the main breadwinner of the BVI. What will happen if the BVI suffers a major recurring blow to its economy. Job loss and revenue to the government alone will be devastating. Will the UK pick up the slack in funding for economic relief given that they have stated many times that they do not want to foot the bills for its territories? There wont be an immediate replacement of jobs or another sector to make up the 40% in revenue that is lost. Tourism can only go so far in a small place like the BVI. Even if tourism was to boom to double its numbers we cant hold the influx of people on only 24 square miles. Not only that but one of the big reasons why a lot of the repeat tourist continue to visit and chose to make here home is because it is still relatively slow paced and not overrun like busy cities and countries around the world. This will be interesting to watch and see how it plays out in the future.

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
    • Comment says:

      Their plan has always been to kill off the black population of these islands, than take them for theirselves, this is why they left us to starve to death. They have a Genocidal Philosophy for all that are not European. Bunch of psychopaths!

      Like 3
      Dislike 3
  10. Nonsense says:

    “We understand that some may have concerns about privacy and security – the draft order makes allowances for this. To be clear ‘publicly accessible registers’ does not mean that personal information of company owners is listed on a website for all to see,” Governor Jaspert’s statement explained.

    “What it means is that the public can submit a request to access information on company ownership. That request will then be assessed by relevant authorities. Once they are satisfied there are no security or other risks to sharing the information, it will be released,” the statement said.

    This is the EXACT SYSTEM THAT WE ALREADY HAVE IN PLACE! Unlike other jurisdictions, our information in BOSS is populated by licensed and regulated Registered Agents, not any nicompoop like is done in the UK and other places. There’s more to this than meets the eye. If anyone has a valid reason for accessing information, there is already a robust process to do so. I really hope the Premier put a good team together to fight this because it is nonsense.

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
    • Not Exactly says:

      What is in place is that Law enforcement, agents of the courts or offshore companies can submit requests but there is no mechanism for an ordinary member of the public to submit requests and get a the necessary answers. Lets not forget Madoff.

  11. simple fix says:

    Lets give them what they want, but a search on that information will cost 1.5 million per company

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  12. Please says:

    This man knows that relevant competent authorities can make relevant requests. What the h**l is the basis.

  13. Sorry Gus says:

    You’ve done a lot and sacrificed a lot for BVI in your tenure but on this point, the stated position of the UK, and our Governor, ought to be more supportive of the BVI.

    We are already at the forefront for verified information and already have law enforcement access and tax information exchange. We even implemented the misguided economic substance laws to neutralize attacks by far left EU elements that the UK government was too spineless to support us on.

    Your message ought to be that the BVI is at the forefront and ever looking to carry on with high standards and the rest of the World, UK included, is encouraged to catch up or explain why they should be more lax than here, with threats of sanctions to those countries.

Leave a Comment

Shares