BVI News

UK’s says general public should access companies’ info! BVI resists

Premier Fahie

The United Kingdom government has mandated that anyone should be able to use the internet and see the owners of companies registered by the financial services industries in all its Overseas Territories.

Britain published this decision yesterday in a draft order called the Overseas Territories (Publicly Accessible Registers of Beneficial Ownership of Companies) Order. 

The order outlines the guidelines the UK expects its OTs to abide by as they all move to implement systems that reveal the owners of the offshore companies they register.

Implementing publicly accessible registers is something the UK and European Union are pressuring the BVI and other OTs to do as it is believed naming owners of companies will help countries identify tax evaders and stop international money laundering.

Section 8 of the new 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.

It also says a register is “publicly accessible” if, and only if persons can use the internet to see the information on these companies.

Big problem for BVI

After the UK released the draft order yesterday, the BVI government released a statement which said Premier Andrew Fahie has told the UK government that the BVI “has significant reservations regarding the Draft Order”.

According to the statement from the government, Premier Fahie said the creation of publicly accessible registers will reveal a range of data of a personal and private nature. 

“In so doing, the Draft Order may pose a threat to those privacy rights secured to individuals under the Constitution of the Virgin Islands,” the Premier said.

“This is, however, subject to ongoing proceedings before the Virgin Islands High Court and so the Premier will not comment further except to say that this is a matter for the Court to consider and decide in the usual way,” he further stated.

BOSSs is enough

In the statement, the 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”.

In the statement released yesterday, the Premier said “any modification of the BOSS system could only be done taking into account the concerns raised by the Government of the Virgin Islands, global best practice and obligations under the Constitution of the Virgin Islands”.

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.

 

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33 Comments

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  1. Reply says:

    This development was just a matter of time. I gather the courts may have to decide the BVI financial industry’s fate.

    If what the U.K. is mandating of it’s overseas territories actually is implemented, the BVI’s financial industry will never be the same.

    Ever since the previous government was dealing with this issue I was of the opinion then that the financial industry needs to begin offering new sunshine services.

    Transparency will be the new normal.

    The BVI financial industry can only survive if new services are offered in this new transparent environment.

    The incentive to have offshore accounts for some will be lost. They will go elsewhere, and financial industry already down in revenues will continue to contract.

    Now I understand the Premiers official position in fighting this. He knows the consequences of this mandate. I doubt the BVI and other OT will eventually prevail in their current constitutional framework.

    As such the BVI financial industry may need to accept reality relative to transparency and start adapting with new competitive sunshine financial products and services if the wish to survive.

    Like 39
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    • Yup says:

      The BVI has been living in a state of denial for years now. Offshore corporations to hide money and assets is over. Governments around the world want the tax money that hasn’t been paid and to cease the money laundering. The BVI was warned that this would happen and it needed to create a new source of revenue. Now that the Foy has destroyed Tourism, the Financial Sector is disappearing, Cannabis is a farce as the industry is already overloaded, so what is next? Perhaps actually luring real hotels and tourism spots to the Territory and try to build the Tourism sector. There are two things to happen before that. First, park your racism and never let it out in the sun. Second, control your politicians greedy hands and keep them out of those wishing to invest. Since both of these won’t be able to occur, you are all doomed.

      Like 36
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      • @ Yup says:

        Stop parroting the BS that you see in the mainstream media. It was proven in a recent report that the very onshore entities that continue to bash the offshore jurisdictions are responsible for tax losses globally. Structuring your affairs to benefit financially is not illegal, these politicians are fooling their populace for political gain and nothing else, this has nothing to do with tax dollars. Ask the US how much money they have made from the introduction of FATCA. It would be much easier though for them to confirm how much money they have lost creating that system which serves no purpose except to frustrate.

        Like 9
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      • Blindman says:

        Tell me how fahie destroy tourism did he creste covid , you prople blogg s**t all the time d**n if he do d**n if he does’nt there no pleasing the greedy and foolish.

        Like 14
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        • @Blind says:

          How he ruined tourism. Well, when you close the Territory and don’t let people in that’s a start. When you finally do open, you put in place a computer system that doesn’t work, tracking that doesn’t work and treat tourists as prisoners. Further you blithering idiot, please tell me what difference would there have been opening June 1 vs Dec 1. What exactly changed? Nothing except people on island become poorer and people like you became stupider.

          Like 3
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      • @Yup says:

        Here is an update for you, because you have thrown word curses to a nation under Jesus Christ, you and all who stands in agreement with you, your curses will return. You people who mock the creator of your souls, who worship the gods of money and your unwise big brains will see God’s justice.

    • Doh says:

      Uh oh…

      There goes another pillar of the economy… WIth tourism and drugs/smuggling on the downward trend, the finances of the BVI are about to collapse.

      But carry on.

      Like 6
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    • What are the "UK's". Just asking? says:

      Would an English lesson kill you?

    • @Rely says:

      Blah blah blah! The devil looks for clouded forecast, then comes God! Jesus remains our redeemer! Check that history record!!!

  2. Resist says:

    Accept reality new normal only a matter of time

    Why do we allow foreign perspectives opinions problems to paint our reality. The European way is always the right way. What they think is reality.

    According to them cannabis had no medicinal use whatsoever up till this December and cocaine was better for medicinal use.

    Racist Discriminatory perspectives (Lies) we claim as reality.

    This is not right. Law enforcement can use the system what more do they want paparazzi?

    They think we are an taking away from them they label us have their citizenship thinking we are doing wrong, they want to appease the public. We are the cause of their problems. It’s a tall tale many believe.

    Like 5
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  3. Trusts says:

    I expect that there will be a renewed interest in establishing VISTA Trusts in the BVI to hold the shares of BVI companies, as the only Beneficial Owner name that will come up on the Public Register is the name of the Trustee. For many clients the additional cost will be worthwhile.

    Like 13
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    • @Trusts says:

      EXACTLY! The Lawyers and businesses here will not let the UK determine their fate, something will be done and fast, have no fear. We didn’t survive for 30 + years by luck and chance, innovation is a must and we will make it through these unwarranted attacks on our bread and butter.

      Like 16
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    • Agree says:

      “The United Kingdom government has mandated that anyone should be able to use the internet and see the owners of companies registered…”

      Let the owners of registered companies be trusts …

      What are they going to come with next?

      Like 1
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      • website says:

        I just went on UK site and find out names who own T*****t T***t, I think, the information is a little bit confusing to me. On a real, we need to find a way to build this particular sector

  4. Hmmmm says:

    This is ONE TIME I will side Hon Fahie with going up against the UK!!!

    Like 12
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  5. @reply says:

    Not so fast. The serious erosions of legitimate rights to privacy are accelerating so unevenly and at such a pace that the backlash is inevitable.

    The systems of Cayman and BVI and other similar regimes goes far enough to sensibly tackle the issues that “transparency” is legitimately designed to overcome. Pushing BVI so far out alone compared to other jurisdictions can only be political. When the U.K. jettisons the EU, they should focus on looking after the U.K. and OTs interests without the hard left political propaganda of the EU.

    It may be that technology fetches this up and we move to a form of private blockchain verification of KYC, who knows.
    It looks like the US even recently started to react regarding their lax KYC regime. A level playing field that protects valid privacy is the only viable solution.

    For all the differences Prem and Gov have had, there’s no reason for Prem to blindly accede to seriously dubious political decisions of the U.K.

    Like 8
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  6. Cries In Ching Chong says:

    mmmm very tasteful! as soon as possible, thank you very much!

    Like 1
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  7. Well says:

    I commend the Premier and the other VIP members for standing up for equality and justice in 2020. It’s a shame that colonialism still exist in the 21st century… but Jesus is making a big move for Him people!

    Like 48
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  8. MSK says:

    This is unwise public policy.

    In addition to trampling on the privacy rights of law abiding users of BVI financial services products, it will trigger the unintended consequence of destroying the investigative value of the UBO identification material now housed safely by BVI trust companies. The sudden dumping of that sensitive data online will not stop economic crime. It will demolish the practical ability of criminal investigators and asset recovery professionals to access that information secretly by court order or BOSS to deliver justice. By way of allegory, the fable of the tortoise and the hare will be lost.

    The zeal shown by left wing transparency campaigners knows no limits. Unlimited systems of transparency do not suit all. Do we accept the State in our bedrooms, medical health records or bank accounts without good cause shown?

    A system of controlled transparency of UBO data balances the need to know who stands behind a BVI company where there is a reasonable basis to suspect wrongdoing and the presumption of innocence.

    MSK

    • Privacy says:

      Don’t forget, we create companies here.
      This is not giving away peoples’ bank details.
      (You finance people always like to confuse the two for the sake of this argument.)
      If a company is formed, what is wrong with a journalist investigating wrong-doing looking up to see who formed the company, especially as most of these investigations aim to expose serious wrong-doing in the public interest?
      Or a competitor, a potential investor, a relative, a concerned citizen? Why can’t they look up and see who formed a company, like almost everywhere else in the world?
      And are you telling me the mafia needs to use a BVI beneficial ownership database to find out who is rich and who to kidnap or extort? They have a million ways to do that, database or not. The “my client’s kids will be in danger” argument is bull. The mafia gonna find out whatever they want about your client, with or without this transparency.
      And is the loss of a clients’ privacy (ie the public can look up that Jo Blo formed this company) really a more important point of principle than all of the other principles in this whole equation?
      Here you are arguing like the right of someone starting a company privately is more important than eg the rights of citizens to expect fellow countrymen to pay fair amounts of tax just like they do; the rights of victims of crime whose assets have disappeared through a BVI wormhole; the rights of citizens whose corruptly stolen wealth hides here behind our sacred anonymity; etc. ad nauseam.
      If you pay all your local taxes and you found a fellow BVIslander who doesn’t, and your income stays low while theirs goes high, and they still use NHI etc., would you feel aggrieved? Feel like: why do I follow the rules and stay poor, while you don’t and you’re rolling in cash and getting state help, too?
      This is one tiny aspect of what the financial service industry does to fairness on a global scale. It undermines it. And we practically invented the “legal” ways to do it – ways to avoid paying tax and make both money and clients’ names invisible. We did it with unique BVI laws designed for those things, designed to be lax for the client but strict for anyone needing to know who that client is, where their money comes from and whether its source is legal.
      In the last years we’ve pretended we always had good intentions and – thanks to BOSS – are now showing our true righteousness so therefore any criticism must be unfounded and malicious.
      But people in the wider world don’t believe us. And that’s because our track record 100% backs up the case against. In scandal after scandal, investigation after investigation, we crop up.
      And remember those are only the ones that became scandals or got investigated. Think how many clients succeeding in avoiding those fates by forming anonymous BVI companies – clients and crimes we will of course never hear about because the BVI system is so perfect for the job.
      You people who rage against these rules as colonialism, white man telling us what to do etc. and at the same time supporting BLM and displaying fellowship with the oppressed of the world – you all are arguing, very simply, for the right to continue making a good living from offering a service to, among others, perpetrators of corruption and crime – activities that contribute most to the oppression of poor people across the world. You are literally making the world more unequal, that’s your job description.
      People calling out critics as “left wingers” – well, as things stand in this era of Trump etc, this gives away your own location on your political spectrum. Almost by definition people who work in this business are to the right wing, some more than others. So almost anyone criticising the system they’ve dedicated their lives to is likely to seem ‘left wing’ to them.
      Even normal, decent, fair minded people who want the best for our territory but actually object that the BVI is the world’s most infamous ‘legal’ sinkhole for corrupt financial activity.
      And it is a legit question: How proud should we be about that?

      Like 5
      Dislike 4
  9. Hmm says:

    Why is the UK taking this stance to destroy the industry and they just awarded Robert Macthavious an OBE for his work in the industry?

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  10. Just my 2 cents says:

    It’s unfortunate that our leaders want us to abide by unconstitutional orders or unscrupulous policies that they mandate which undermines our fundamental rights and freedoms. Yet they are so adverse to orders or directives from their bosses or mother country.

    Irony at it’s best. Animal Farm 2!

    Like 4
    Dislike 6
  11. keep it real says:

    I think this is a learning lesson for the bvi if people like cline kept his mouth shut from talking like a duck when he has the belley we would not have been in this. P;ease put a lid on that man he is going to help bring the bvi to STOP HE NEEDS TO SHUT UP AND STAY OUT OF WHAT FOES NOT CONCERN HIM AND STOP STOP STOP

    Like 3
    Dislike 3
  12. um says:

    Seriously – just like in the UK where people can literally put John Doe or Mickey Mouse into the system and it never gets picked up?? Maybe the UK needs to say when its public register of directors which is a joke with all the false names in it is going to be cleaned up and the suggested legislation actually put in place. There is no timeline to their announcement.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/sep/18/companies-house-to-verify-directors-identities-before-being-listed

  13. Hmm says:

    The unfortunate thing about all of this, is when politicians that we elect do wrong like mismanage and s***l allegedly they do nothing the UK since they are responsible for investigations and prosecution of crimes.

    So these politicians f**l their p****ts and swell their egos with it and their investigations and findings are never reveal nor are the politicians made to answer for their actions.

    And so this leads to the country suffering and in all else the uk are passing laws to destroy our country’s economy.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  14. BVI says:

    WE GOING SEE WHO IS BOSS NOW

    Like 2
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  15. Conundrum says:

    Don’t forget the Financial Services Sector is predominantly set up by, funded by, and managed by persons from outside the BVI; the very people the VIP Govt is trying to drive out.

    Like 4
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  16. Leveller says:

    UK has not said this.

    It was required to produce a draft order, but the UK government has said that the OTs and CDs have done sufficiently to show that there is no need to make it into an actual order. There is at the moment only a very low likelihood of this ever becoming an order.

    Fake news. Suggest BVI News ask BVI Finance or IFC Forum what the current status is.

    With EU members also not yet embracing the full transparency, it is questionable as to whether this will be brought in by the end of 2023.

  17. Dancing in The Sunshine says:

    I am not surprised with the move by Britain to have open register of owners of companies conducting business in the Territory. It is incomprehensible for anyone to know that I have a business registered in the country. That should be confidential.

    The white slave owners are coming to ensure that we return to servitude. We will not surrender. Those domestic slaves who are operating silently with the Massa in the white house will not escape. When the Massa
    achieve his objective, he will tell us that we were foolish.

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  18. YOUTH says:

    The UK cannot be trusted.

    Like 1
    Dislike 2

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