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Hon Fraser forces Premier to disclose ‘bombshell’ banking info in HoA

Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) reported that the VI branch of the financial institution, is in fact the only one, since it does not operate in any other jurisdiction. Photo: Internet Source
It was Third District Representative, Honourable Julian Fraser RA, who pressed the Finance Minister to provide more details on the latest financial institution serving residents of the Territory. Photo: VINO/File
It was Third District Representative, Honourable Julian Fraser RA, who pressed the Finance Minister to provide more details on the latest financial institution serving residents of the Territory. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI –Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), at the June 28, 2018, sitting of the House of Assembly (HoA),—following his Asia tour—spoke to the opening of the Bank of Asia in the Virgin Islands (VI).

He had said “we joined over 500 business leaders and Government officials to celebrate the opening of Bank of Asia (BVI).”

According to Dr Smith at the time, “There are a number of things we have been waiting to see come on stream and we were grateful for this good news that the banking needs of our Asian clients doing BVI business can now be fulfilled.”

One Month Later

Pressed further for details a month later—during the July 24, 2018, sitting of the HoA—Dr Smith reported that the VI branch of the financial institution, is in fact the only one, since it does not operate in any other jurisdiction.

It was Third District Representative, Honourable Julian Fraser RA, who pressed the Finance Minister to provide more details on the latest financial institution serving residents of the Territory.

Hon Fraser’s queried whether “the Bank of Asia is owned, or partially owned by the Chinese Government,” and Dr Smith revealed that it was in fact privately owned.

The Third District Representative queried the VI Government’s relationship with the Bank of Asia and was told, “…while the Government welcomes the opening of the Bank of Asia in the British Virgin Islands, it has no relationship with the Bank.”

Dr Smith, in responding to Hon Fraser RA, on the matter of the Bank of Asia’s Assets, said the financial statements have already been made public.

VI Only

Hon Fraser RA also queried of Dr Smith, “what other countries does the Bank of Asia operate.”

He was told “the Bank of Asia (BVI) Limited does not operate in any other jurisdiction other than the BVI.”

Asked who are the Directors and Shareholders by Hon Fraser RA, Premier Smith told the House, “the details of the directors and shareholders of the Bank of Asia (BVI) Limited falls within the definition of protected information, which the Financial Services Commission is prohibited from disclosing unless the request falls within the gateways for disclosing information in accordance with section 49A of the Financial Services Commission Act, 2001.”

 

16 Responses to “Hon Fraser forces Premier to disclose ‘bombshell’ banking info in HoA”

  • 1 (01/08/2018, 10:38) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
    we need all the investments we can get we need jobs
  • biker (01/08/2018, 10:56) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    The BVI is trying to catch-up with the Cayman's 600 banks and trust companies! According to TheBanks.eu website there are now 7 banks in the BVI and the Bank of Asia's address in Road Town is the Commerce House in Road Town. I believe this commercial building is owned by either a law firm or a trust company so I guess BofA has rented some office space there. Hopefully BofA will buy some commercial property and build their own bank building like some of the other major banks here in the BVI.
    • True (01/08/2018, 11:25) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Electronic only just an address nothing more its all digital banking
      • biker (01/08/2018, 17:25) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        @True - Seems like a bank that is only going to operate in one jurisdiction such as the BVI would want to purchase some commercial property to erect a building in that jurisdiction to demonstrate to its customers that it is a solid financial institution. It would be disconcerting to future customers for any bank not to have a fixed real asset in the only country where it is licensed to conduct banking business.
      • N.I. (03/08/2018, 15:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Also not for local residents? From their website : "Please note that we are unable to bank individual residents of the British Virgin Islands".
  • miss (01/08/2018, 11:05) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
    what's the bombshell?
  • moment of awe (01/08/2018, 11:20) Like (32) Dislike (3) Reply
    I really had to smile when I listened to the HOA last week when Mr. Fraser asked Dr. Smith if the government of China owns Bank of Asia and the answer was no. Then Fraser asked who the beneficial owners are. Dr Smith said that information cannot be obtained. So hitting a homerun, Fraser asked Doc well how do you know that the China government don't own the bank. I crack a good laugh. Good legal work Julian Fraser. You're a better interrogator than those lawyers and police.
  • Bornhere (01/08/2018, 14:00) Like (11) Dislike (15) Reply
    Bank Of Asia is the best thing that happened to the BVI for long time, people have to realise that the BVI need investments and attractions such as bank of Asia so people will know the BVI name and want to do business in this territory. I don't think people realise that the BVI is in big trouble therefore I personally welcome Bank of Asia with open hands.
  • tola me from (01/08/2018, 16:06) Like (16) Dislike (5) Reply
    You fool Bornhere!! the best thing my a$$ that banks is own buy Dr. Smith his wife and there ppl!! They have our island in such a mess with all this corruption Mr. Fraser know why he ask the questions. you guys need to pay attention the the under handed stuff that take place for these companies to come about and stop coming on here commenting sh#$. the BVI is in trouble because of the NDP and there stealing!!!
  • Truth (01/08/2018, 16:26) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    its a good bank what the fuss, they have locals working there
  • ccc (01/08/2018, 16:52) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    welcome back of Asia we need you
  • Howdy (01/08/2018, 18:16) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    I got confidence in that bank because of a lot of things I prove back, i did my homework. I suggest all you naysayers do the same. I am a VIP supporter but I consider myself a fair man, and I have to laugh at how ignorant oue people are they blame ndp for every single thing, if it too hot they blaming N DP, if it rain they blame NDP,, I check tge Bank out and neither the Premier or his wife is involved in the bank, but their crime comes from being friends with Asians who could invest in the territory and its people, their crime is that tgey go to the mountain instead of waiting for the mountain to come to us, and their crime is to have a soft mannered Premier.


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