BVI News

Non-negotiable: BVI will not impose unfair public registers

Premier Dr D Orlando Smith. (Photo Credit: Davion Smith/BVI News)

Premier Dr D Orlando Smith said his government will not comply with the United Kingdom’s controversial amendment to its Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, which passed in British parliament last week.

The amendment is forcing the BVI and other Overseas Territories to implement public registers that disclose the names of beneficial owners of offshore companies registered in those territories.

“The BVI has consistently stated that it will not introduce public registers of company beneficial ownership until it is a global standard. I want to assure you that nothing that has happened in the last two weeks changes this position. If a global standard is ever adopted, any public register of beneficial ownership must respect and protect fundamental rights: that is non-negotiable,” a tough-talking Premier said on Thursday, May 10.

The Premier reiterated that the UK’s decision to impose public registers on Overseas Territories is ‘unjustified and discriminatory’, and said the BVI will continue to engage directly with the United Kingdom government in the hope that “right and reason can prevail”.

The protest

The Premier went on to rally residents to support the public non-political march slated for May 24. The march is a protest to the UK’s aforementioned public register law.

“I encourage all of you to remain as engaged and inquisitive as you have been in the issues surrounding last week’s events. Significantly, this heightened level of unity and engagement is manifesting itself in the community with the organisation of a public non-partisan march,” Dr Smith said.

“Having led the constitutional delegation in 2007 and also as Premier, I fully support the right of the people in this territory to freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly and association. I fully endorse this march which from all indications will be a seminal event for reflection and solidarity. I also call on all participants to maintain a peaceful albeit resolute posture throughout all events,” he added.

The march will start from the Sunday Morning Well in Road Town and end at Government House, where Governor Augustus Jaspert resides.

Over in the Cayman Islands — which is also affected by the UK’s public register fiasco — a similar and simultaneous protest is scheduled for that day.

The full statement from Premier Dr D Orlando Smith can be read here.

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  1. BVI says:

    I applaud the apremier. We need to show MP Hodge and others in the UK with their colonialists attitude that gone are the days when the people will sit idly by and be dictated to. Slavery ended centuries ago.

    • DAS SURAPANENI says:


  2. de ting start says:

    doc grew some balls atlast

  3. Watcher says:

    Good. This was never passed by the UK govt but by the Labour Party who under Comrade Corbyn and his Egyptian la—- Margaret Hodge are virtually communist, anti-cap—–t de——–.

    Well said Doc and everyone here supports you.

  4. nick says:

    this is nothing to do with is for dirty money hidden in bvi banks secrets accounts.

    • Local says:

      @Nick: Edomite…the bvi is not a banking center.

    • haha says:

      what is point of having an offshore company?

    • Jane says:

      Nick, the underlying assets are not here in BVI they are everywhere else in the world but not here. Opening a bank account in BVI is a million times harder than in the USA or UK.

    • Knowledge says:

      So the 6 small banks in BVI are holding the dirty money not the big banks in London, NYC, Switzerland etc.? You all are so easily fooled by nonsense. BVI is a company registration jurisdiction not a banking jurisdiction. If you are concerned about money laundering and movement of criminal proceeds you follow the banks not the Companies Registry.

  5. Ppl in tola says:

    If yahll calling what Uk doing then what is your own Government doing to you an I don’t think yahll care about your families living uk bettering their lives rather than living Tola struggling from check to check just to get by yahll will be some stupid fools to let these ppl who already have homes businesses an are rich to lead u astray to jeopardise the bond when yahll go independent you will learn an feel the pain Haiti Africans and other poor countries going through

    • Grammar Police says:

      While in the UK please go to school and learn how to use punctuation in your sentences! Not one full stop or anything in your post! My gawd!

      • Ppl in tola says:

        But yet still you took the time to read it foolish worry about making your life better cause I good over here gawd! he should strike u with lightening for changing his name

    • Migoman says:

      Yahll…. Nice word (retard)

  6. yep says:

    So who is allowed/invited to be a part of this protest? BVIslanders only, expats, down Islanders, the entire population, what?

  7. Reasonable Man says:

    Dr Smith is doing the right thing and so far handling it well. I hope he succeeds.

  8. Sam the man says:

    Doc hate to break it to you but you don’t actually have a choice….anyhow you said you’d been planning for this for the past few years…..what’s suddenly changed? If you want to burn your bridges like your wife has done with the UK go ahead, Independence is looming and then you are really screwed! By drawing attention to this reluctance to comply you are actually highlighting what you have to hide! can you not see the damage that will do? Probably too late now anyway – time to pack my bags soon I think….

  9. Reasonable Man says:

    I think as well, everyone should reflect on what the BVI would be like with out the income this industry provides to government, the employment it provides and general support to the economy. They then get out there and march so that the politicians and electorate of the UK see this get an idea of how important it is to us.

  10. March for Holiness says:

    I hear you Premier. But can you levy a march for the repentance of this nation? The matter of the UK’s recent decision is a symptom of a greater problem…it is a SIN problem…more symptoms will pop up unless you deal with the problem at it’s SOURCE. MARCH FOR HOLINESS. March for a turning back to the Almighty Creator. Let’s us not keep giving God lip-service.

  11. Reality says:

    Unfortunately this continues to prove that actually its “Transparency” “Accountability” “Honesty” and ” Ethical behavior” that is non negotiable to the No Direction Party as they hurtle towards the cliff taking all they can with them! All a big smokescreen so you miss what the NDP has been up to for its inept tenure…

  12. Joshua says:

    The Premier doesn’t have a clue. Every body tired of him been lead by the w—. The UK has the power to pass the dam bill. You want something done ask nicely mr Premier. This bad attitude is what got you in this mess anyway. Your government has proven so corrupt and disrespectful. I would march behind a donkey before I march behind a corrupt government with hand and foot disease.

  13. Enough says:

    This reminds me of the average American marching and rioting against tax laws that have almost zero impact on their life or daily living standards. A knee jerk emotional reaction to a situation that allows the politicians and community leaders to lead you away form key and actual issues that effect you. Let me ask you all….. with all the years of the financial services here where are your roads, your sewers, your running water, your constant electricity, affordable and reliable internet, reliable and efficient police services, fire services, ambulance services, infrastructure in your capital such as parking garages, any sort of reliable public transportation that alleviates mothers and children standing on roadsides with their thumbs out in the heat and rain, development of a basic and sound infrastructure on which tourism and other emerging market ideas could be fostered upon to build the country and it’s GDP. March for growth not emotion.

    • Reasonable Man says:

      60% of the governments revenue come from fees paid by the finance industry. How would the infrastructure look if we didn’t have that money too?

      • Starvin’ Marvin says:

        @ Reasonable Man. – The infrastructure looks pretty bleak and poor to me!! Don’t know if you live off-planet on Titan. For the past let’s say 15 years, based on our GDP imo we have not had value for money on the vast majority of government projects and infrastructure development. Let’s not even get into the maintenance side of any of these assets either. What some are simply saying is that in-spite of the revenues by FS Government have not been good fiscal stewards of the public’s funds/assets. It is evident daily in the news: lack of adequate facilities pre Sept. 2017 for many Departments. School buildings in disrepair, community centers lacking in management etc. Roads, water and sewerage, agriculture and the list goes on & on populated by failures. So tell me how will giving these neck-tie gangsters more would help this small country look as it should have been looking now almost 8 months on!

    • Just Wrong says:

      BRVO Enough BRAVO !!

  14. Mandy says:

    And next on the international agenda will be to have BVI finance its regulator independently like any other jurisdiction, from license fees not from registry income. So, either regulators salaries will go down or license fees will have to go up or both. More changes to march against!

  15. Wendy says:

    That’s the spirit Doc.

  16. Kinte says:

    Honorable smith tell me how much has the B.V.I. Islanders benefitted from the off shore companies and I dont mean the connected few. And no disrespect but your wifes talk of independece is pure talk. The B.V.I. cannot survive on its own. Those in goverment and those connected want their cake and eat it too.

    Those who argue that the way they spend the money the British goverment give them should not be dictated to by the British goverment nor should their be over sight are to me just looking for a way to further enrich themselves off the British money.

  17. Jackanori says:

    Well said- you get this woman in London spouting emotion and receive a cold but accurate response: ” yon cannot have real prosperity on dirty money” Then you hear about another under—– contract to some pastor to build greenhouses- who these people think them fooling? Only moo moo

    • Sam the man says:

      The woman in London thinks she’s in charge – clearly wears the trousers at home – can’t believe how much damage her emotional rant on UK radio did! The BVI now is most certainly in the spot light more than ever now thanks to that stupid outburst – spectacular own goal!

  18. Lb says:

    Now THIS sounds like the Premier I want to hear!

  19. Born BVIslander says:

    So where was the March for the Freedom of Information Act? The Consumer Protection Act? The Tenancy Act? Where was the March for transparency and accountability? Where was the March for a proper sewage system throughout Tortola and on VG? Did I miss those marches?

  20. rigmarole says:

    They were reading Tommy wrong, de ting start.

  21. Political Observer (PO) says:

    No doubt the Premier and the rest of the territory should be concerned about the risk the House of Common bill posed to financial services, a core economic pillar that generates about 60% of national income. Nonetheless, silence is golden.

    What is the down side to the BVI, an OT of the UK, flaunting a UK directive? Can the UK take over the VI as it did in TCI? If the VI does not want to follow legal directives by the UK, it can pursue self determination. Is the BVI ready for independence? Should not the BVI work diplomatically with the UK government to fashion a compromise? Is the public blustering a good strategy?

  22. Old BVI visitor says:

    Hell you could introduce capital gains tax and corporation tax but I don’t think the dirty money would stay for long let alone transparent governance. The BVI has to accept sooner or later Global tax evasion is going to be a thing of the past, what happens to the independence movement when the US introduce sanctions on those that don’t follow transparent corporate governance?

  23. BVI! says:

    Most on the island probably don’t get this, but pursuing this resistance will be the start of a long dark period for the islands. The world is demanding transparency and providing options for managing criminal and corporate funds will make us outcasts. Either the U.K. is going to correct this by taking over control or they will us loose and then we are alone without friend and future.

  24. Lawyer says:

    Doc dont try to protect or help the locals trying to gain a piece of the financial services pie. He gives tdade licences and priviledge to outside law firms etc to take all the business away from the locals. So who is really benefiting? Who really owns the industry?

  25. BVI supporter says:

    Please support Dr. Smith at this time; a unified voice is needed, not partisan bickering. The financial service line is so important to the economy, especially with the damage to the tourism economy. Stress to the UK then importance of maintaining the financial service line to the recovery of BVI. (Great comments above by Political Observer). With the financial service line secured, then work out the details with the local government on how the monies should be allocated.
    This is by no means all “dirty money,” but a means for many for asset protection, sometimes from the very agencies clamoring for transparency. Finally, “Render unto Caesar the things belonging to Caesar, and to God, the things belonging to God.”

  26. Reality says:

    Puppet on a string comes to mind at the moment with his — pulling all the strings! why else would he suddenly do such a U turn? a few weeks ago it was a statement from the Premier don’t worry we expected this and have planned for it….then his wife e———- herself and the country ranting on UK radio and suddenly its a whole different tactic! we ain’t daft Mr Premier we know who’s really in charge …

  27. Joseph says:

    Independence is the way forward.

    Dump the UK.

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