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'Media must do its part in Financial Services'- Gérard St. C. Farara QC

- wants the media to continue to educate & dispel misconceptions regarding the financial services industry
One of the resource persons working with the Financial Services Implementation Unit Gérard St. C. Farara Q.C. said that the media must do its part given the importance of the financial industry to the Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO
Farara, Head of the Financial Services Implementation Committee Kedrick E. Malone and Premier Dr the Hon D. Orlando Smith. Photo: VINO
Farara, Head of the Financial Services Implementation Committee Kedrick E. Malone and Premier Dr the Hon D. Orlando Smith. Photo: VINO
Part of the gathering this morning at Treasure Isle Hotel. Photo: VINO
Part of the gathering this morning at Treasure Isle Hotel. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - One of the resource persons working with the Financial Services Implementation Unit, Gérard St C. Farara QC, said the media must do its part given the importance of the financial industry to the Virgin Islands.

"The importance of the financial services industry to the continued prosperity to the Virgin Islands cannot be underestimated," he said, speaking at a working breakfast for members of the media to discuss Government’s efforts at strengthening the financial services sector.

The activity was held at Treasure Isle Hotel this morning September 15, 2015.

Mr Ferara said that while there has been some effort in the past to ensure that the media is trained in the role of financial services, those efforts only brought about a certain level of responsiveness.

He said that as part of the initiative to reposition the territory in terms of its financial services, public education and the clearing up of misconceptions regarding the sector were key.

Not a tax haven or secretive industry

"One typical misconception is that the BVI is a tax haven but when you look at what it takes to be a tax haven you will see that the BVI is not a tax haven."

Mr Ferara said another misconception is that the financial services industry is a secretive industry where confidentiality is the primary objective as a cover for persons who are involved in illegal and otherwise unwarranted activity internationally. "And that certainly is not the role of the financial services industry in the BVI.”

The prominent legal practitioner said the role of the industry is to provide legal vehicles and mechanisms through which persons around the world and internationally can make investments and can protect their assets.

According to Wikipedia.com, a tax haven is a state, country or territory where, on a national level, certain. taxes are levied at a very low rate or not at all.

“It also refers to countries which have a system of financial secrecy in place. It should be noted that, financial secrecy can be used by foreign individuals to circumvent certain taxes (such as inheritance tax on money, and income tax of the interest on the money you have on your bank account),” the reference said.

A few bad apples should not spoil the whole barrel

“Of course if you are a country at the forefront of that aspect of the financial industry in the world you can expect that from time to time there will be a few bad apples,” said Farara.

But he said that one shouldn’t focus only on the bad apples at the expense of the rest of the industry and the role it plays in the territory and wider afield.

“What I would like to see more of in the British Virgin Islands, and that is where the media comes in, is in-depth analysis of the aspects of the financial services industry, conducting the necessary research into the people who are directly involved and concerned with a view to highlighting the key aspects of the industry in the BVI that make up the industry and make the industry what it is today,” he said.

Mr Farara opined that while the media has a critical role to play as a watchdog for society it also has that important role of informing and disseminating information that is of importance to the populace.

7 Responses to “'Media must do its part in Financial Services'- Gérard St. C. Farara QC”

  • just asking.... (15/09/2015, 16:17) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Since when they all love the media?
  • voter (15/09/2015, 21:06) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Platitudes. This government has done the most to try to muzzle the media!
  • Rockers (15/09/2015, 23:31) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wow - when the NDP promoting the media instead of just thoes they love you know tis just another Punch and Judy show!
  • Not2Sure (15/09/2015, 23:38) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well that's a twist Mr. Farara!
  • Minister`s press conference (16/09/2015, 08:25) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Need Ronnie to have a press conference on NHI, and do not hand pick who he wants to attend, open it up and answer the questions. This is my question. Why the cap? We have a lot of people in the BVI making more than 6,000.00. Why not take the cap off, or increase it to ( I suggest 9,000.00) who earns more pays more that will more than double the flow into the kitty, then you can reduce the fee for all ( I suggest 6% ). it is very expensive in its present form. I do think that NHI is a good and over due. That was my question to Ronnie
  • Hi Finance! (16/09/2015, 15:34) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    If Financial Services is and has been so crucial for the BVI, then why has the BVI government signed onto the
    newest addition to FATCA? That just chases the money away. Also why is it that some customers bank statements
    from a certain prominent multi-national bank, that are mailed in Road Town - never show up in the customers mail?
    Seems to be alot of counter-productive activity and legislation lately (including NHI in it's current form) that really
    chases prosperity away......bummer. Oh bummer.
  • Online Now (17/09/2015, 06:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    hope he loves free speech


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