We would like to take this opportunity to update you on recent developments in St. Lucia’s international financial centre. These developments are the result of the commitment of the Government to a centre that meets today’s challenges and the expectations of international clients and service providers.
New LLC Legislation:
A new limited liability companies Act is presently being drafted and is expected to be passed early next year. This Act combines the known advantages of existing successful models with provisions adapted for ease of management and responsiveness to client’s needs.
International Insurance Companies:
The first international insurance companies have been incorporated in St. Lucia. These entities are geared presently to American based clients and have been able to address a unique tax opportunity. The applications for licenses were dealt with unprecedented speed and efficiency without compromising international standards of the due diligence process.
The Mutual Funds Act:
Proposals are presently being considered to amend the Mutual Fund Act to allow for professional funds. It is being contemplated that these funds would be restricted in the number of members, each of whom would have to qualify as a professional investor. This amendment will allow these professional funds to operate in the jurisdiction for a specified duration before being registered, therefore allowing the investors to be responsive to opportunities that they may be presented with.
The other laws in the financial services suite are being reviewed as part of an ongoing process of continuous improvement. Amendments to these acts are expected by the end of the first quarter of next year at the latest.
- The Government is engaged in dialogue with the OECD and its sub agencies to ensure that they are correctly informed on the structure of our financial services industry. From correspondence received by the Minister there has been an admission by the OECD that the initial position taken to assess St. Lucia was based on information received from other sources. In order to facilitate a fair and informed assessment, the government has invited the IMF to review the financial services regulatory framework and to report on their findings.
- New features will be added to the online Registry to including online registration of regular IBC, which are being continued from another jurisdiction. This is expected to be completed before the end of the year.
- The Registered agents are getting organized to set up a STEP branch in St. Lucia.
- The Financial Centre Corporation has become members of the International Tax Planning Association and of the Offshore Institute.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.