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Gov Jaspert reiterates support for VI’s Financial Services

- emphasised VI is a well-regulated jurisdiction with an effective register of beneficial ownership accessible by law enforcement
According to Governor of the Virgin Islands Augustus J. U. Jaspert aka ‘Gus’, the Virgin Islands (VI) has strong and effective regulation of its financial services industry, which contributes to global trade. Photo: VINO/File
The debate in the United Kingdom Parliament will continue as the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, including the new amendment, will go to the House of Lords next. Photo: Internet Source
The debate in the United Kingdom Parliament will continue as the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, including the new amendment, will go to the House of Lords next. Photo: Internet Source
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- “I recognise that this is disappointing. As I have made clear previously, I believe that the BVI is a well-regulated jurisdiction with an effective register of beneficial ownership (BOSSs) that is accessible by law enforcement. Since 2013, BVI has made it clear that the jurisdiction is committed to implementing public registers when they become the global standard.”

This is according to Governor of the Virgin Islands Augustus J. U. Jaspert aka ‘Gus’ in a statement today, May 8, 2018 on the recent vote by the United Kingdom’s House of Commons to mandate the Overseas Territories (OTs) to have public registers of beneficial ownership of offshore companies.

On May 1, 2018 the UK Parliament passed an amendment to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, which introduces measures to tackle criminal activities, including money laundering across international finance. The amendment includes a requirement for the Overseas Territories to implement public registers of beneficial ownership by the end of 2020. 

According to Governor Jaspert, public register of beneficial ownership is not a new issue and that concerns, focusing on a small number of people abusing international financial centres, have been discussed around the world in recent years.

He reminded that when the issue was last debated in the UK’s House of Lords, the amendment was successfully defeated after Lord Tariq M. Ahmad, the UK’s Minister for the Overseas Territories, set out the UK Government’s position on both the strength of regulation in the Overseas Territories, including the VI, and on the constitutional responsibility for Overseas Territory Governments to effectively regulate local financial services.

“This time, the UK Parliament decided to proceed with the new amendment. UK Ministers made clear that they do not want to legislate directly for the Overseas Territories. However, the UK Government had to listen to the strength of feeling and respect the will of the UK Parliament.”

'I support advancement of Territory'

Governor Jaspert added that the debate in the UK Parliament will continue as the Bill, including the new amendment, will go to the House of Lords next. “Whatever the outcome of this debate, the BVI should approach it with confidence.”

He said the VI has strong and effective regulation of its financial services industry, which contributes to global trade. “I know BVI shares the aim that the jurisdiction should never be a place for those wishing to hide criminal activities. BVI regulation and the industry have consistently shown that they can keep ahead of global trends.”

Further, Governor Jaspert said the VI faces a number of challenges and opportunities after the devastating events of last year, but it should be confident in its recovery.

“The Recovery and Development Agency Board is in place and the recovery has the continued backing and support of the United Kingdom, including the UK Prime Minister’s commitment of up to £300 million of loan guarantees to support access to finance.

“With clear vision, a plan for the future to grow and diversify the economy for the benefit of all, and the right recovery and support structures in place – the Virgin Islands’ can be confident in its future. As Governor, I will support the Government in advancing this vision and, as I have since taking up my role, support the advancement of the Territory and the people of these beautiful Virgin Islands.”

10 Responses to “Gov Jaspert reiterates support for VI’s Financial Services”

  • Very interesting (08/05/2018, 16:24) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    This one unfolding with a series of interesting twist. Very unusual for an UK assigned Governor to go against his Crown decisions? This position he has chosen should be interesting.
    • Boo (08/05/2018, 18:28) Like (18) Dislike (1) Reply
      It was a decision principally of opposition MPs in parliament who together were able to defeat the government by the simple majority they hold. The sitting government was not in favour of the amendment. It still has to go to the House of Lords and for Royal Assent.

      His position is that of the sitting UK Government, his employer. Not surprising at all

  • Truth (08/05/2018, 16:36) Like (14) Dislike (2) Reply
    Did he tell the UK that
  • @Jaspert (08/05/2018, 18:07) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
    Ok. Then call me. Your secretary and staff have had the number and info for weeks.. Don't be a Duncan donut.
    If you were in 'intelligence' work, you do know who is putting this on VINO's website and that I am honest.
  • Harry (08/05/2018, 18:29) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    No Direction watch your back.
  • Political Observer (PO) (08/05/2018, 19:16) Like (31) Dislike (3) Reply
    UK officials are masters at diplomacy. The Governor says: “I recognise that this is disappointing. As I have made clear previously, I believe that the BVI is a well-regulated jurisdiction with an effective register of beneficial ownership (BOSSs) that is accessible by law enforcement. Since 2013, BVI has made it clear that the jurisdiction is committed to implementing public registers when they become the global standard.” The Governor is trying to strike a balance on a pin head; he is trying to demonstrate that he is down with VI. He said that he supports the VI. But note that he does not say that the HOC legislation is a bone head, selfish piece of legislation. Undoubtedly, the FCO give the Governor some limited flexibility to pretend that Her Majesty’s local rep is down with the VI people. Both the UK government and Opposition serve the UK electorate’s interest, not the VI’s. This bill was put forth by the Opposition so why the 360 by PM Theresa May government? Well, Theresa May is a politician and politician counts votes; there are few votes to count in the VI but many in the UK. Do not piss on us and tell us it is raining.

    Moreover, the HOC vote should be a wake up call for the BVI; it should be seen as a challenging opportunity. Financial services, along with tourism, its the twin pillar of the economy. This economic twin pillar catapulted the BVI from a subsistence agricultural economy to a service- based economy. Though tiny with little to no resources, the BVI boasts of having one of highest standard of living and quality of life in the region; its per capita income is approx $42K; its GDP was approx $1B. However, the reality is that the VI was on a fragile economy perch, for if either of the pillars stumble the economy will tumble. It got way too comfortable, too cocky, with the financial services and tourism economic pillars. Furthermore, as the UK legislation demonstrates clearly, it is critical and vital that the economy must be diversified. Diversification may not be a sexy topic/issue; nonetheless, it is an important and urgent issue. It must move to the top on the bucket list.
  • @PO (09/05/2018, 00:17) Like (8) Dislike (5) Reply
    Most people in England don’t understand the issue but some are being lead by what has been sold as an altruistic venture but is in reality an attack on the individual, the UK and the overseas territories.

    The economic numbers lie because it does not look or feel like a wealthy part of the Caribbean around homes and infrastructure, nowhere near where it should be. So yeah the VI made money as a place but none of it was properly invested in the VI or it’s people. Where are the schools and teachers we deserve, the roads, telecoms, airport, diverse range of amenities? The public money was spent lining people’s pockets who did not have to deliver for us. Both parties did this generally.

    Then we have public policies to destroy enterprise and make it difficult to hire and create business unless it is controlled by the main families. So how are we surprised at how difficult recovery is? Some of us have been here twenty or thirty years building and maintaining those economic pillars with no rights in the country or tenure. That is not sustainable as against our competitors. Some of us are Bell gets but get greedy on rent or shareholding relationships. Chasing business and jobs to other countries.

    Our FSC has chased away whole industries and along with the longstanding labour and immigration issues, has chased other industries off before they arrived. Competitors lost fund administration and other financial services to onshore centres but we just watched or worse didn’t notice that fly by. It was there for the taking. Let’s wise up.

  • Trini/Belonger (09/05/2018, 05:52) Like (21) Dislike (5) Reply
    Not because our Governor have not responded in a disrespectful way means he is not for the VI people. Thus far our Governor showed great service to the BVI. Where were you the day after the hurricane? Am sure looking for love ones and trying to get yourself grounded. Well am talking first hand our Governor had not much time for his own family, why? Because he was busy running up and down flying to and forth from the Uk just to make sure us as a people were taken care of. Where were you when clean up was going on? I can tell you where or Governor was rallying with his staff and other members of community trying to clean up public schools. There is so much our Governor has done from time he got here and not because it’s not all over the media means he is not for us the BVI people we also have to remember he is not just a Governor is human first a husband and father too so sometimes we are faced with disappointment but we also have to give him his credit it’s one deverstation to another had he has faced it with us with pride. Our Governor is making good on his words meeting with us the community to help get us where we are to be Governor is a man of courage man of strength and I for one trust in his ability to help get us out this mess we are all accountable for what lyes in front us we too as a community has to take accountability as well we are the ones who elect or officials we were the ones to put our voices out their to our leaders not when things go bottom up cast blame on our Governor he came and meet us in this mess he is indeed for our people he is indeed working twice as hard to make sure we the people have left of our resources and dignity in place.
  • dude (09/05/2018, 09:44) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    U ppl still don't understand. The Governor has to be here what you expect him to say? Stop looking for them to defend you. It isn't real.
  • Smoke Screen (09/05/2018, 16:04) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Again he playing babah black sheep wirh premier he can not go against his own dont mind the noise he buying time


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