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Gov Mapp submits bill to attract financial services to USVI

USVI Governor Kenneth E. Mapp has announced that he has officially submitted for legislative approval The Virgin Islands Financial Services Improvement and Corporate Modernization Act of 2017 (FISA). Photo: Alchetron

FREDERIKSTED, St Croix, USVI— During a press conference held at Government House on St Croix, US Virgin Islands (USVI) on Wednesday morning, April 19, 2017 USVI Governor Kenneth E. Mapp announced that he has officially submitted for legislative approval The Virgin Islands Financial Services Improvement and Corporate Modernization Act of 2017 (FISA).

The Governor had previously partially detailed during a St Croix Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting at Palms at Pelican Cove.

In a letter to Senate President Myron D. Jackson, Mr Mapp wrote that the Act will “modernise Virgin Islands corporation law, based on best practices in the States and authorises the creation of new statutory trusts, based on Delaware law, which are increasingly utilised by US and international businesses to structure large and sophisticated financial transactions.”

Center for international investment

In urging the Legislature’s approval, the territory’s leader said that FISA will position the US Virgin Islands as a center for international investment, and as a hub for economic activity on par with other states and foreign jurisdictions. It will also create new government revenue streams, more contributions to charitable causes, higher paying jobs in the financial services sector and more spending in the US Virgin Islands’ economy, according to the governor.

At the press event, Mr Mapp said that the new regulations would replace the existing general corporation laws of the US Virgin Islands with a modern corporate code based on successful stateside models. Many states and foreign jurisdictions, he noted, have also modernised their trust laws to meet the evolving needs of US and international businesses and investors.

The proposed new General Corporation Law, which is part of FISA, would eliminate many of the specific requirements for the number of officers and directors and offer a degree of protection against liability lawsuits. While some of these provisions already apply to limited liability companies under US Virgin Islands’ law, the proposed changes would be the first time that such provisions would apply to corporations formed in a United States jurisdiction. Franchise and other corporate filing fees would be increased substantially under the bill for entities seeking the advantages of operating in the territory through its EDC programme, Mr Mapp said.

A section of FISA would provide liability protection for Series Limited Liability Companies, which are firms with several classes of ownership interest. It would limit the extent to which the assets among the various series could be used to satisfy the debt liability of one series class. FISA also includes a chapter entitled “The Virgin Islands Statutory Trust Act”, which would exclude certain entities from certain financial reporting requirements normally applied to corporate subsidiaries. In the transmittal letter, the governor wrote that the US Virgin Islands has a built-in advantage in attracting these entities since it can offer full or partial exemptions from federal tax on many transactions, a benefit no American state can offer. Other sections of the proposed act would allow the establishment of trusts for purposes other than the sole benefit of a particular person or beneficiary.

Mr Mapp said the legislation is the latest component of his administration’s five-year economic growth plan to restore economic stability to the USVI Government.

20 Responses to “Gov Mapp submits bill to attract financial services to USVI”

  • SB (20/04/2017, 12:18) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Smart move.
  • facts man (20/04/2017, 12:23) Like (4) Dislike (8) Reply
    another blow to the BVI Financial services sector
    • Schups (20/04/2017, 14:30) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
      Please. You think financial services is just legislation and talk? BVI has been leading for 30 years, many have tried, how many succeeded? Almost all the islands in the Caribbean have drafted legislation similar to ours and nothing. Look up the word 'substance'.
  • Hmmmmm (20/04/2017, 12:33) Like (15) Dislike (6) Reply
    We have financial services, we are months away from direct flights and about to expand our airport. USVI knows theyre about to feel a real hard hit and trying to soften the economic blows. BVI better wake up and realize and appreciate what it has in hand and yet to come.
    • B Savage (20/04/2017, 13:51) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply
      Direct Flights? You mean to Miami? On BVI Airways? Guess what going happen? We not trying to make the nasty individuals who will profit off that plane more profitable it's time to be a HATER until the public treated with respect go kick rocks.
      • YAWN (20/04/2017, 17:09) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        Nobody with sense even bothering with you. Govt pays ALL airlines MILLIONS to fly here. Do you know who own them all? Typical hating illiterate.
  • BackaYard (20/04/2017, 12:33) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    lol Ken Mapp fired a shot across the bow
    • rattie (20/04/2017, 13:17) Like (6) Dislike (10) Reply
      Bvi will soon lose everything
      • hi (20/04/2017, 14:37) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
        BVI Will not lose everything. You guys forget USVI is under America rule. They have to follow the SEC requirements and the IRS tax laws.

        The BVI is considered a tax haven like Cayman and that is why companies are attracted to them. USVI is not, they still have to pay US taxes.
      • @rattie (20/04/2017, 20:36) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
        Bet...If BVI loses everything you will lose even more just because of your jealous evil mind.
  • heyyyyyyy (20/04/2017, 12:47) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    listen HERE USVI, that our thing, stay out!!!!
    • @Heyyyyy (21/04/2017, 08:41) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      They are trying hard with Poker Run too. Theirs is a joke compared to ours....
  • VG Realist (20/04/2017, 13:26) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    It's a great move, however, to become a reputable financial services jurisdiction, it takes years to develop to its full potential. The USVI like the BVI need other industries and linkage industries to generate revenues and not fully depend on one industry.
  • Dragon (20/04/2017, 13:30) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    If the USVI do open up to financial services we better make sure that our labour and immigration are more helpful or people will chose to go next door Why would a business wait months for approval for their overseas staff to work when they can go St.Thomas and start up shop without so much messing around.
    • B Savage (20/04/2017, 13:53) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      No it will be why come to backward Tortola who makes you feel you in a 3rd World Country when you can be on the other side getting a taste of American lifestyle with some paradise. Trust the will fix WAPA for sure.
    • & (20/04/2017, 14:33) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      Stop talking nonsense! As long as the 'US' remain in 'USVI' nobody is flocking their for financial services. WTF? Do you hear how you guys sound? A proper financial services center isn't built on legislation, fluff talk and a few months, it takes lots of funding, lots of professionals on the ground, lots of planning and years to bear fruit. Give me one reason why someone would choose to set up an entity in USVI as opposed to Delaware AND why would anyone choose Delaware or USVI over BVI, depending on what kind of company they want? Client's needs dictate the jurisdiction for set up.
  • Hmm (20/04/2017, 16:04) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Poor mr Mapp nobody is going to place their money in us where feds can directly cease it. Your economy is unstable and your crime is out of control not to mention Trump threatening to make you all use visas to enter united states.
  • E. Leonard (20/04/2017, 21:13) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    The USVI despite its close association with the US is another small locale experiencing financial challenges. Like its easterly neighbor, the VI, it too has a small undiversified economy. As such, in an apparent attempt to finding new revenue streams, the USVI is making a move to encroach on the VI's cash cow and primary revenue steam, financial services.

    It is not surprising though that the USVI is making a move. The VI can only constrain other locales from encroaching on its leading financial services position by establishing a difference it can preserve. The VI must find a way to differentiate itself. It must deliver greater value to customers or create comparable value at a lower cost or do both. It must execute operational effectiveness by performing similar functions better than competitors perform them. The VI has much work to do in holding the USVI and others at bay.
  • @E.Leonard (21/04/2017, 08:43) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well, they were successful at taking our name, so why not try to take our bread too.....
  • good (21/04/2017, 08:59) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    well they trying to take the boating sector too!

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