British Virgin Islands: The British Virgin Islands Is Recognised For Its Adherence To International AML/CFT Standards
Last Updated: 6 January 2009

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands – 5 January, 2009 – The British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission (FSC) is pleased to announce that the Third Round Mutual Evaluation of the British Virgin Islands by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) has been completed with the finalisation of the BVI's Mutual Evaluation Report. The Report concluded that the BVI is largely compliant with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) 40+9 Recommendations and that, as a Territory, it has maintained a robust public policy commitment to ensuring that it plays its part in the global fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The CFATF Report highlights the tremendous efforts undertaken by the BVI since the last CFATF mutual evaluation of the Territory in 2002 to ensure compliance with established Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) principles and the Territory's commitment to the establishment of standards in legal, law enforcement, regulatory and international cooperation matters.

The Report published by the CFATF on 22 December, specifically notes that,

"the Virgin Islands has maintained a robust public policy commitment to ensuring that the Territory plays its part in the global fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Successive Virgin Islands governments have promoted policies to ensure that the jurisdiction can play its part to effectively combat cross border financial crimes, maintain a reputation of being a clean jurisdiction and where it is found that the jurisdiction has been used by criminals to fully cooperate with the international community. This government commitment has led to the jurisdiction being in the forefront in the introduction of modern financial services legislation such as a licensing regime for trust and corporate service providers, immobilisation of bearer shares and the introduction of mandatory suspicious activity reporting obligations".

To develop the Report, the CFATF conducted an on-site visit in the BVI from 10 – 22 February, 2008 to examine, through document reviews and interviews of public and private sector stakeholders, the BVI's AML/CFT regime. This third round mutual evaluation was the first in which the BVI's AML/CFT regime was assessed by the CFATF on the basis of the 2004 Methodology devised by the International Monetary Fund for the implementation of the FATF's 40 Recommendations and 9 Special Recommendations relating to money laundering and terrorist financing respectively.

The mutual evaluation was conducted by an assessment team led by a member of the CFATF Secretariat and included assessors from the CFATF and FATF member countries well versed in law, law enforcement and finance. The assessment team reviewed the Territory's institutional framework, relevant AML/CFT laws, regulations, guidelines, policies and the regulatory systems in place to deter money laundering and the financing of terrorism. It also examined the capacity, implementation and efficacy of these systems.

The FSC is pleased with the outcome of the mutual evaluation and the recognition given to the Territory's adherence to AML/CFT standards. However, the FSC recognises that there are areas highlighted by the Report which call for improvement. In this context and in the context of the continuing changing circumstances and improvements to the global AML/CFT regime, the FSC is now focused on the adoption of appropriate measures to effect necessary improvements to its areas of AML/CFT responsibility in order to strengthen the Territory's continued adherence to established standards relating to the global war against money laundering and terrorist financing.

The British Virgin Islands strives to ensure its continued place in the international community as a leading and reputable international finance centre. The Territory will continue to be a strong cooperative partner in the shaping and implementation of compliance standards and supervision pertaining to money laundering and terrorist financing, while ensuring a modern and conducive atmosphere for the conduct of legitimate business.

Notes to Editors:

  1. A copy of the report is available at the FSC website at www.bvifsc.vg.
  2. The BVI was previously assessed by CFATF in 2002.

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