BVI News

Local financial services is still very busy and active despite COVID

BVI Finance CEO Elise Donovan has posited that the financial services industry remains ‘very active and busy’ despite the setbacks COVID-19 has brought to the territory’s main economic pillar.

Speaking in a recent interview with 284 Media, Donovan said the industry has not experienced a 20 to 30 percent decline that global industry experts predicted earlier in this year.

“At the beginning of March, we checked with the industry and there was a prediction that there would be a severe impact, maybe about 20 to 30 percent. Coming now in the fourth quarter of the year, we can say that prediction hasn’t really borne out and a large percent of the industry is reporting that they are very busy, they’re very active and the industry itself is very buoyant. That is very encouraging for us,” Donovan explained.

During the 2021 budget presentation on November 12, Premier Andrew Fahie said the BVI’s earnings from registering corporations in the territory dropped to $168.9 million in 2020. This amount is $29.8 million or 15 percent lower than what was earned in 2019.

Registering companies is a major sector within the BVI’s financial services sector. But Donovan said figures such as these do not paint an accurate picture of the entire industry.

“Of course there are certain figures that are down but figures don’t tell the whole story as far as economic activity. There are certain sectors such as restructuring, insolvency – we’re seeing them having more activity but certainly, the industry continues to be very busy and active,” Donovan stated.

She added that under normal economic conditions, the BVI financial services industry contributes some 62 percent of government revenue.

But since the passage of the 2017 hurricanes, decline in tourism revenue and the onset of the COVI-19 pandemic, Donovan said financial services has gained even more prominence.

“It’s probably in the range of 80 plus percent of government revenue. Everything that the government is doing — whether it’s roads, whether it’s sewerage — all the things the Premier outlined in the budget address would be coming from the financial services industry in large part,” Donovan revealed.

The BVI’s financial services industry provides one in 10 jobs and contributes some 33 percent to the territory’s gross domestic product.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Comments

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  1. Soooo says:

    So figures don’t tell the story in finance? Really. This article and the interview is once again smoke and mirrors trying to deflect the truth of what is going on. The financial service sector is dying. Not by Covid but by government regulation worldwide. The BVI needs to wake up to this so that it can move to other sources of income. Allowing first class hotels to open, franchises from around the world and activities that would promote tourists staying in the Territory longer than eight hours would save the future. Remember this is all about trickle down economics. Tourists coming moves money into every sector within the BVI economy with perhaps the only one not seeing a result is the churches. And that people is the real problem.

    Like 15
    Dislike 1
  2. Heckler says:

    Economic substance provides opportunities for the sector…just not government

    Like 3
    Dislike 2
  3. You make me smile says:

    The BVI financial sector is plastic people in plastic jobs . It’s sad that you think it’s real all those world wide companies want is the address to hide from tax. Stop kidding yourselves that this is real and your all amazing financial and management advisors your tokens to keep this d***y industry looking above board

    Like 6
    Dislike 5
  4. Clearly says:

    Despite the international challenges clearly Government is doing an outstanding job in this sector

    Like 2
    Dislike 2

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