British Virgin Islands: British Virgin Islands Enters List Of Global Financial Centres, Stability Noted
Last Updated: 13 March 2008

Tortola, British Virgin Islands – 11th March, 2008 – The British Virgin Islands’ status as a leading international financial centre has been confirmed by the BVI’s inclusion for the first time in the Global Financial Centres Index published by the City of London.

The BVI entered the list of top centres in 27th place among 69 leading international finance centres. The index is based on nearly 19,000 assessments from business professionals worldwide.

Respondents also placed the BVI among the world’s most stable finance centres, just behind jurisdictions such as Zurich, Hong Kong and the Isle of Man.

This combines an assessment on the one hand of sensitivity to changes in people, the business environment, market access, infrastructure and general competitiveness, and on the other of consistency between different respondents’ views of a centre.

The report states that the regulatory environment is one of the most important competitiveness factors for a financial centre, along with access to highly-skilled personnel.

Robert Mathavious, MD/CEO of the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission welcomed the index. "It is good to have the BVI’s status as a leading global finance centre confirmed by practitioners from across the world," he said.

"In the BVI, we firmly believe that good regulation enhances reputation. To protect our integrity and reputation as a well-regulated international finance centre, the BVI has adapted to the changing global environment and taken the necessary measures to deter and confront financial crime. Our approach meets international standards without damaging the competitiveness of the BVI financial services industry.

"A prime example of the FSC’s commitment to international cooperation and transparency is the extensive handbook we have published on international cooperation and information exchange as a guide for law enforcement officials and regulators. The handbook explains in detail the statutory mandates and regulations established in the BVI to foster and improve international cooperation."

"We further enhanced our regulatory regime last month by publishing new anti-money laundering legislation setting out procedures for identification, recording and reporting of transactions, and by publishing a detailed anti-money laundering and terrorist financing code of practice. The code will assist practitioners by serving as a practical tool for compliance with standards on anti-money laundering and combating terrorist financing. The aim is to ensure a climate of compliance that meets international obligations."

"The BVI’s robust international cooperation framework is one reason why the UK’s National Audit Office confirmed only last November that the BVI had successfully responded to demands from the OECD and EU without driving business elsewhere."

About the British Virgin Islands International Finance Centre

The BVI IFC has played a pivotal role in the promotion and marketing of the BVI as a leading financial centre. Established in 2002 as part of the Government’s commitment to support the financial services industry, the aim of the IFC is to give a voice to the BVI’s financial sector. The IFC is committed to ensuring that the BVI retains the unique balance it has created in having a sound regulatory framework, an entrepreneurial business community and a government that is committed to developing innovative legislation.

The launch of the Centre marked the final stage in the government’s plans to separate the marketing/promotional and regulatory/supervisory functions. Regulation is now the sole responsibility of the BVI Financial Services Commission, which was also established in 2002.

About the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission

The BVI Financial Services Commission is an autonomous regulatory agency responsible for the regulation and supervision of financial services conducted in and from within the Territory. The Registry of Corporate Affairs is a division within the BVI Financial Services Commission that administers the BVI Business Companies Act.

For further information please contact:

Ms. Sherri Ortiz
Chief Operating Officer
British Virgin Islands International Finance Centre Haycraft Building, 1 Pasea Estate
Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Tel: +1 284 494 3701 ext. 2606

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