Caribbean Regulatory Update – Q1 2021 – Finance and Banking


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BVI UPDATES

  1. ITA access to economic substance
    information

The Beneficial Ownership Secure Search System (Access and
Disclosure) Regulations, 2020 were gazetted on 15 October 2020.
These Regulations permit the International Tax Authority
(ITA) to access economic substance information on
the Beneficial Ownership Secure Search (BOSS)
system for the purposes of:

  • enforcing and monitoring obligations placed on corporate and
    legal entities by the Economic Substance (Companies and Limited
    Partnerships) Act, 2018; and

  • disclosing information held on registered agent databases to
    the persons (ie, relevant overseas competent authorities), in the
    circumstances and on the terms set out in the economic substance
    requirements under Schedule 4 of the Beneficial Ownership Secure
    Search System Act, 2017, including where an entity is in breach of
    the applicable economic substance requirements and where an entity
    claims to be tax resident outside the BVI.
  1. BOSS annual fees suspended for small corporate service
    providers

On 19 October 2020, BVI Finance issued a notice regarding the
agreement of the Premier and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Andrew A
Fahie, to the temporary suspension of the 2020 annual fees payable
under the Beneficial Ownership Secure Search System
(Fees) Regulations, 2019. The suspension related
to the 2020 annual fees payable by small corporate service
providers with no more than 1,250 registered companies.

  1. GIFCS report on compliance with its standard on the
    regulation of TCSP’s in the BVI

In November 2019, the BVI Financial Services Commission
(FSC) was assessed by the Group of International
Finance Centre Supervisors (GIFCS) against its
Standard on the Regulation of Trust and Corporate Service Provides
(TCSPs).

The BVI is the third jurisdiction to be assessed under the
Standard, which is a benchmark for establishing regulatory
frameworks and supervisory practices for the robust oversight of
trust and corporate service providers. The BVI received the top two
available ratings in 70% of the areas assessed. The FSC is now
engaged in diligently addressing areas for improvement identified
in the report.

  1. BVI financial account reporting system (BVIFARs)
    update

On 29 December 2020, the ITA issued a notice informing all
reporting entities and constituent entities that the version 1.0
schema will only be available on the BVIFARs for reporting
obligations until 13 January 2021. Any reporting after that date
must be submitted in accordance with the version 2.0 schema.
BVIFARs will undergo configuration for the version 2.0 schema from
16 January to 5 February 2021.

  1. Temporary extension of company name
    reservations

The Registry of Corporate Affairs (the
Registry) has provided a temporary extension to
facilitate new company incorporations expected in January. All
company names reserved at the Registry during the period of 21
December 2020 to 22 January 2021 will remain reserved until 12
February 2021.

  1. Financial Services Sector Money Laundering Risk
    Assessment 2020

The FSC has announced the publication of the Virgin Islands
Financial Services Sector Money Laundering Risk Assessment 2020.
The Assessment identifies and analyses the BVI’s current money
laundering risks within the banking, financing, money services,
insurance, investment, insolvency and trust and company services
provider sectors. The FSC has taken steps to address any issues
identified within the report.

Licensed entities are encouraged to use the information in the
report when carrying out their own risk assessments. The report can
be found in the dedicated AML section of the FSC’s website.

  1. Annual fees due

The FSC has published a reminder of the following deadlines

  • 31 January 2021:

    • annual licence fees due – banks, trust
      companies, company management licensees, financing and money
      services business licensees and authorised custodians.

    • prudential returns due – banks, trust
      companies, company management licensees, money services business
      licensees.

    • large exposure reports due – banks.

  • 28 February 2021:

    • annual licence fees due – all insurance
      licensees.

Download >> Caribbean Regulatory Update – Q1 2021
(PDF)

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.

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