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House of Lords upholds Commons Bill on OTs public registry

- bill now goes to Queen Elizabeth II for assent
It was another blow for the British Overseas Territories (OTs) in the Caribbean today Monday, May 21, 2018, as the House of Lords of the United Kingdom Upper House let stand the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, with the amendment passed by the Lower House on May 1, 2018. Photo:
In reaction to the UK’s decision, a group of individuals have decided to put together a march in an effort to send a message to the UK government, while Premier Smith expressed that he is in support of the march. Photo: Facebook
In reaction to the UK’s decision, a group of individuals have decided to put together a march in an effort to send a message to the UK government, while Premier Smith expressed that he is in support of the march. Photo: Facebook
LONDON, England, UK - It was another blow for the British Overseas Territories (OTs) in the Caribbean today Monday, May 21, 2018, as the House of Lords of the United Kingdom Upper House let stand the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, with the amendment passed by the Lower House on May 1, 2018.

The amendment will allow by 2020 all offshore accounts to have a public registry of their beneficial ownership.

It means that the Virgin Islands (VI) will have to implement a publicly accessible register of beneficial ownership of companies by January 1, 2020, however, Crown Dependencies and the rest of the world do not have to comply with this.

Bill Stands

It will result in the undermining of the VI's main revenue earner, causing the local economy to collapse, massive layoffs in government and the private sector, and residents living in poverty.

It was in January of this year that the same House of Lords voted down the amendments on a public registry, but today May 21, 2018, despite support from some Lords for the OTs' position they let the Commons Bill stand by accepting via content the decision on a public registry.

March is on

It means now that Her Majesty The Queen will assent to the Bill, bringing it into law.

In response the people of the Territory has organised a march on Thursday, May 24, 2018, to demonstrate to the 'mother country’ the local public objections to singling out of the OTs in the region while the world is not held to that same standard of a public registry for beneficial ownership.

63 Responses to “House of Lords upholds Commons Bill on OTs public registry”

  • cay (21/05/2018, 17:12) Like (27) Dislike (18) Reply
    SMH poor we and we do not want independence under the NDP
    • Love for My Country (21/05/2018, 17:43) Like (23) Dislike (27) Reply
      To Cay: Stop being foolish! This situation has nothing to do with NDP, VIP, or any P. It is about the country being destroyed because some persons think we are too well off. When the Financial industry, which is paying for most of things we enjoy today, is gone and people lose their job, maybe you will understand what is happening to this country.
      • Woke (21/05/2018, 20:27) Like (25) Dislike (1) Reply
        The Financial Services pays the majority of people’s salaries. If it suffers, expect downsizing in all businesses including government departments and don’t expect increments either.
        • So sad (21/05/2018, 22:51) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
          Unfortunately thats the harsh reality
          • Hmmmm (22/05/2018, 14:15) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
            Nonsense, Tourism is 10% of the economy. Seriously on 10% percent. Time to fix that.
        • Finance (22/05/2018, 13:20) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
          Financial Services revenue also paid for a lot of the wasteful spending. Think about inflated contracts, oversized government departments, poorly engineered roads that don't last, poorly managed projects, unnecessary trips to discuss sharks, abuse of vehicles and the list goes on.

          Most of our problems stem from a poorly managed Finance Ministry. The more revenue it gets, the more money it allows to be wasted. If we correct these bad financial habits, we will be good, even better than before.

      • True (21/05/2018, 20:31) Like (12) Dislike (8) Reply
        The reason everyone thinks the country is so well off is the high salaries paid to the top people in these companies, its that very fact that stopped the relief effort because of the FS, let that sink in and let them sink away as its on Tola that will suffer all the forgotten sister island will flourish and perhaps the jobs that in the papers for over a year will get responses because the sister islands will be on top.
        • wake up (21/05/2018, 22:48) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
          This is political globally and the alt left, of all nationalities wants to take down systems of their perceived inequalities and the EU and the US feed that for their own end; to distract from their failed socialism and to take business from the OTs and UK as a package. The UK government and anyone with half a brain over there don’t want this and sees this for the constitutional abhorrence that it is and senseless act by Hodge and the Corbynites.

          We need to wise up and get past this, short term get slick on ease of doing business and not throttle what industry remains in red tape and waiting around for permits and still lacking proper office space, accommodation and connectivity; expand the business we have and then use this moral higher ground we are theoretically being forced toward to browbeat business in all countries that we are therefore the gold standard above all others for transparency. All of those dodgy entities saying wrongly that we are the route of all evil, we’ll be willl stand out front so by there own argument ALL FDI and aid ought to be routed via BVI going forward, no? How could they justify otherwise?

          We will definitely lose some business, not all of which we want to keep. This whole saga does show up how we had become a one trick pony doing incorporating but we chased away the value added work or let it pass us by. Other OTs are more diversified and robust but with well-considered decisions, there is opportunity in this to get ahead.

          And to anyone marching, let’s keep it focussed and intelligent. Anything else will be twisted and used against us.
      • Agree with cay (21/05/2018, 23:42) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
        Cay, well-spoken - you are right. There is room for matters to get worse under that scenario. Now, Love for My Country, it has everything to do with all the Ps. Did you ever ask the NDP what was going on with all the public monies unaccounted for? It is under the NDP that we find ourselves in this predicament, all these years - no accountability and telling the People that there is sooo much money. Flood and Hurricanes Irma and Maria come and where is the money that the BVI supposedly had? The UK finally step in and this legislation is the result. The People played like they needed no accountability for resources wasted. But, even independent countries have to answer to higher orders - why else do you think there is so much warring and sanctions being put against some countries. The BVI is not ready for independence; hopefully the people are ready to learn from mistakes made. May the Lord God and may the Queen help us in this predicament.
      • For them not WE! (22/05/2018, 07:14) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
        At the end of the day our leaders were to greedy and did not look out for the people when things were green. Now the road that led to our little financial security is becoming stoned down. And the people will perish for their was no vision from our leaders!
      • rubbish (22/05/2018, 08:55) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
        The country would be in fine shape without the corruption and cronyism that has run rampant. All we needed to do was invest the easy monies wisely into infrastructure, education and healthcare, and save the rest for emergencies like Irma. Instead, the connected few have plenty but the rest will suffer because the BVI is not really very competitive in tourism regarding value, ease of business and friendliness. Alas time to reap what has been sown.
    • Blind to the fact (21/05/2018, 18:11) Like (17) Dislike (6) Reply
      How come ya'll wasn't crying poor we when the criminals were out shooting like the wild west?
    • Indepence (22/05/2018, 12:07) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      PUT laws in place that limits govt, so that the people wouldnt find themselves victim to those who will be tempted to abuse their power. Example have a General vote on all major debt, requiring a public debate and vote on all major debt ...the people would have to vote, deciding if the Airport was a project they were willing support vs leaving that decision up to some ministry. Take the firing of public servants out of the hands of ministers-there must be due process(proof that this person no longer serve the proper interest they were hired to perform, can't be a situation where you fire some one because they have a different opinion to yours, or didn't vote NDP or VIP
  • Sue (21/05/2018, 17:24) Like (30) Dislike (3) Reply
    OMG.....we in hot water ...
  • tretretrete (21/05/2018, 17:27) Like (39) Dislike (12) Reply
    The UK finally cashed in on the NDP corruption in a round about way.
  • well well well (21/05/2018, 17:29) Like (40) Dislike (8) Reply
    Lavity and Ralph out lasted all UK attempts to get at our financial services. Now Orlando and his bright boys NDP allows the UK to finally get their hands on us.
    • NezRez (21/05/2018, 22:28) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
      Lavity and O’Neil had no more power. The UK wasn’t ready to do anything then. They are ready now and they have done it to us. These people had a planned years ago and the time is now. I have been saying for years we needed other incomes in place just in case this would happen, but so many fools didn’t believe it. Now what?

    • VICKIE (22/05/2018, 09:33) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      They are bright without common sense and not listen when we the public was warning them about the UK and our financial services now all of us will have to pay for this. They are talking about independent can some one explain me how can the BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS can go independent with all that is going on all over the world. The ministers and the PS reduce their salaries when the premier had raise the junior salaries it was a waste of tax payers money and I still think so .This government waste and give away too much of tax payers money. I do believe there is more in the mortar beside the peddle the remember the premier never tell us the full truth about anything. If we the residents cannot see what is going on then we will go to ground zero soon.
  • What next? (21/05/2018, 17:31) Like (21) Dislike (5) Reply
    I agree the British worthless but the NDP cannot fight the UK for we the people or they will go the jail. So we're on our own.
  • Sigh (21/05/2018, 17:33) Like (36) Dislike (8) Reply
    Every week is bad news under this NDP government. It is like this place is under a plague.
  • Just saying... (21/05/2018, 17:40) Like (26) Dislike (3) Reply
    We will learn. The "Strategy of Graduality" played out like a perfectly orchestrated chess game.
    • Escape not! (21/05/2018, 19:18) Like (16) Dislike (2) Reply
      I agree , it was always in the making. you boil a frog? Gradually increase the heat..
      and that they did.
      • to escape not (22/05/2018, 12:11) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        What we fail to understand is that these people plan their strategies 20 years out and work gradually toward that end. On the other hand, by all indications on the ground, we can’t even seem to plan for just 2 years down the line. We in trouble y’ll! We will soon be working with 1/2 a pillar if we don’t regroup urgently.
  • WHY MARCH THEN? (21/05/2018, 18:23) Like (32) Dislike (9) Reply
    Hope the people don't waste their damn time to go march. It was never in their best interest. Only in those who been getting their big check from this industry and politicians hiding accounts in we country and them trying to scare we about trickle down effect. The country will still run and the UK will have a more hands on on these corrupt politicians.

    Now we will get financial grants and other aid.

    LET THERE BE LIGHT on them crooks!
    • Gosh (22/05/2018, 09:03) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
      • Wow!! (22/05/2018, 14:04) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply
        @Why March then and Gosh, really? You are proud to take financial grants and other aid. It's people like you that the BVI don't need to listen to! Where is your pride? This is not the US. We don't run a welfare state here. You can only not understand trickle down effect if you don't want to. Sometimes I wish when things like happen it can happen but only the foolish suffer. The industry accounts for 80% of what you this territory spends, whether you like it or not. Should we have been here no, but we are. Think about where your money comes from and who really pays your bills.

        Why march? Your constitutional rights have been affected. Today its financial services. Tomorrow, it will be the industry that your business is in.

        I'll leave this poem with you to think about:

        First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—

        Because I was not a Socialist.

        Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—

        Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

        Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—

        Because I was not a Jew.

        Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me
  • fromafar (21/05/2018, 18:53) Like (10) Dislike (5) Reply
    This is so unfortunate , from childhood days I was concern of the lack of interest England has played in the developement of my homeland . Today I can say with surety England has no regard, no respect no interest
    in our existance as a country.
    It is time the hard decisions be made they do not need us and we do not need them. Let us chart a new course
    without them, people let us not be afraid we have done well without them , we will succeed .
  • Just saying. (21/05/2018, 18:55) Like (15) Dislike (8) Reply
    It’s not the government thing is an overseas territory thing. We need to stand together as a nation all the overseas territories including the other country such as China,Hk etc and show Uk we mean business stop blaming the government of the Day let us stand together and knock off the Uk. We can clearly see they don’t care about us. Let pray and fast for our territory. P.s I would not even have a parade for the queens birthday you have no respect for me I have none for you. Just my thoughts.
  • gosh! (21/05/2018, 18:59) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    This is serious!
  • Wow! (21/05/2018, 19:01) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    My God. Can’t believe this...
    • Bev (22/05/2018, 11:21) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Why you can’t believe this? The handwriting was on the wall years ago. More and more expats from the UK in droves, you would have to be blind not to see it.
  • We must brace ourselves (21/05/2018, 19:05) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Feel to me like we are going to have some rocky roads ahead of us.
  • Legal tender (21/05/2018, 19:19) Like (10) Dislike (10) Reply
    Say what you may, say what you want, this is not about NDP, VIP or UP, it’s about us as a people and our wicked ways, the wrought of God is coming down on us because we are not listening to the voice of God, we are pushing the things of this world for political gains rather than pushing the things of God. We have felt the worst hurricane ever to be recorded in history but instead of turning to God we have become more desperately wicked. Approaching another hurricane season and what are our thoughts, “Festival 2018”. Do we jake God for a joke, well sad mistake. God is vex in his spirit with us as a people who call ourselves a Christian society and that why the wrought of sudden destruction is coming down on us. People, listen to the voice of God, because if we don’t, the worse is yet to come.
  • Lawdamarcy (21/05/2018, 19:51) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    This decision catch us flat footed and unprepared; on top of that, we only have less than 2 years to get it together? How are we going to do this?
  • Alien (21/05/2018, 20:17) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Hope the UK likes extraterrestrial intervention. There won't be much left of England. It goes beyond the
    issue presented in the public. It has to do with crapping on visitors from much further away. Oh well, it's
    about time anyway. At least the dominant human governments, countries and societies have shown their
    true colors. We know their words have been false.
  • True (21/05/2018, 20:28) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Hedre is the uncomfortable truth, it will deplete TORTOLAs income not the BVI's, instead of bending over backwards for all these foreign companies with tax breaks ease of permits why not focus on the tourist industry as the rest of the BVI the" Sister Islands" are reliant on this not the FS. So let the cards lie where they fall
  • ??? (21/05/2018, 20:35) Like (16) Dislike (12) Reply
    First thing we should do is start calling ourselves by our official name, Virgin Islands. We are not British...
    • vi (22/05/2018, 05:14) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
      I fully agree with you ??? It’s time to do that. Don’t know why you got dislikes for your comment.
      • ??? (22/05/2018, 10:38) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        @ vi. I'm actually not surprised by the dislikes. I know the mindset of our people.
  • Bags done packed (21/05/2018, 21:04) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    Caaaaaaaaaaaaaaptain the ship sinking! Caaaaaappptain the seas are rough
  • Well (21/05/2018, 21:19) Like (22) Dislike (3) Reply
    for how things look now, like we need two back-to-back marches: one on May 24th against this unfair decision by the UK, and the other on May 25th, for a new election to remove the NDP from office. They are just bad news all around. One set of complete failures. We don’t trust them to handle anything else from here. Time to remove them all. Let the marches begin!
  • must say (21/05/2018, 21:32) Like (10) Dislike (4) Reply
    Could you imagine the noise the NDP would have been keeping right about now if this had happened under the VIP or any other Party watch? Too much hypocrisy in the BVI although the British our of place also.
  • @Well (21/05/2018, 21:33) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
    Saturday, May 26th, would be a much better day for the other March. More people off from work; it would garner a even bigger turn-out. “Leh we do ‘tis ting!”
  • fromafar (21/05/2018, 22:42) Like (12) Dislike (4) Reply
    no queen parade, for what , lets get serious ,we mean business lets show them how we feel about this decision, i agree all the islands should stand in solidarity particularly the islands directlly affected. The Queen will sign this into law, and we should march, celebrate for what? Lord i wish I was home ..Iweep for my Country, we neen to end this relationship, LONDON BRIDGE HAS FALLEN DOWN.....
  • Fran@ (21/05/2018, 22:46) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
    @??? Call yourself what you want, we are the British Virgin Islands. and today we all learned it or not! Denial is what got us in this situation in the first place.
  • Political Observer (PO) (21/05/2018, 23:01) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    There are dark gathering clouds swirling violently over the BVI. In August 2017, it was inundated by a historic flood; in September 2017, it was devastated by 2 Cat 5 hurricanes (Irma and Maria); and now in May 2018, the UK parliament is imposing a change in the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill that requires that OTs established a register of beneficial occupancy.

    This bill was a severe head shot to the BVI; it can adversely impact the economy, employment, quality of life, standard of living........etc. It has the potential to set back the BVI’s economic growth and development. But it is no surprise that the HC and HL voted the way they did. Both UK government and opposition are about the UK’s interest, not the BVI’s; it has always been that way from 1672 to today. Where will the BVI go from here?

    It will be morning in the BVI tommorow and it will require a patient and steady hand in plotting the way forward. The BVI does not have too many options. It can play with the hand it is dealt and work with the UK to maximize available opportunities or it can elect to go it alone. Independence is not a rosy option though. In the short-term, the BVI needs to shore up the financial services industry to the maximum extent practical. And for the long-term, it needs to work on diversifying the economy.
  • wake up (21/05/2018, 23:14) Like (3) Dislike (6) Reply
    This is a faction within the U.K. and EU countries and elsewhere. A leftist faction using the populism and fake news trump used to attract the lunatic elements on the right to get him in. If the argument turns into BVI vs UK as a whole or we fall for the colonialism rhetoric and all that which holds us back, we will not see the wood for the trees and we will not prevail. It is nothing to do with all that this is political ideological Neo- Marxists versus the status quo and we are the easy target. We need to hold the mirror up to those countries and interest groups to demonstrate unequivocally their hypocrisy and the illogical and dishonest elements to their arguments while taking this rebuild opportunity to evolve what we do and how we do it. To lead. Wakanda was not built by sitting around whining about wipipo, they get wise and busy playing to their strengths. If the U.K. wants to increase its global trade with other countries post-Brexit, we are pretty well placed to be a fulcrum in that new World.
  • the next marh (22/05/2018, 00:14) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Who will organize the march against the ndp? Where is zoe and ms patsy?
  • Mole (22/05/2018, 01:13) Like (3) Dislike (6) Reply
    I find it interesting that this was top of the house of lords agenda, next to the hottest news in the UK land that the Prince just got married to a black girl. Well done Prince Harry. Your mother truly lives on in you.
  • Just Curiois (22/05/2018, 01:52) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
    The biggest way to show our disgust to the UK is to sabotage the traditional queens birthday parade or better yet cancelled it totally for this year and let us not observed that day as a public holiday but a day when we let the UK know that we as a people will not lie down and play dead before they kill us. The BVI has nothing to attract tourism and the main pillar of our economy they want to destroy and leave us to die. People of the BVI when things starts to get hard those who already have your UK passport can start making preparation to relocate and go to the motherland.
  • Charley Rose (22/05/2018, 05:00) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    People of the BVI, this is not something to take easy. Could you imagine the potential economic shock that will happen to the territory. With an industry that earns approximately $300 million dollars annually for the treasury how will that amount be replaced.When one considers if the Financial Services industry collapse the rippling effects.
    To name a few, infrastructure will not be developed, education will be affected, salaries will be affected, health services, jobs, rental apartments, supermarkets, loans repayment and the list goes on.

    I would hope that the people of the BVI will take heed and start to prepare themselves for the shock. Is there an alternative source of income. Yes, though it is late, perhaps it is time to diversify the economy. The government needs to come to the people and solicit their support not for political election, but to ensure ALL of us work together.
  • Diplomat (22/05/2018, 06:25) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Clearly, this is a threat to morale, health, welfare and well-being of the BVI. Finacial services contributes approx 60% of national income and a large chunk of GDP. And if the industry contracts significantly, the impact will be painful. Economic growth, employment, government services, government ability to borrow much needed capital, standard of living and quality of life..........etc can be negatively impacted. The territory was knocked down but it must get up. This is not an NDP nor VIP nor PEP nor UP nor CCM problem but a BVI problem. The entire territory will feel the pain and strain of this admendment to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill. The UK is looking out for the UK’s interest. And the BVI has to unite and lookout for the BVI’s interest. We cannot panic and act irrational; it is an urgent and dire situation but we must plan, strategize and act with deliberate speed. We must roll out the plans that were in place to counter the anticipated this action. It is action time. It is time for politicians to show what they are made of. It is time to deliver. Our hour has arrived. We need a Moses, Mandela, Joseph, Mandela, Noel........etc to lead USA out of this crisis.

    We should be in a better position than we are in. We squandered the golden opportunity that we had. We wasted a power of money and not much to show for it. Even with a $1B GDP, the territory is not 1st World. What happened in the past is water under the bridge, spilled milk......etc so it time to look ahead and not repeat the mistakes. Some difficult and painful times are ahead; rough seas are ahead. However, the whole territory must work in unison to make it to shore safely and securely. Much sacrifice and belt tightening will be required. Leh we du dis ting!
  • Reader (22/05/2018, 08:57) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    @ Diplomat...agreed!
  • shipwreck bvi (22/05/2018, 09:24) Like (14) Dislike (6) Reply
    people stop treating outsiders bad, oops! too late. bvi Landers you will soon have to travel elsewhere to look work, many of you. God brought you to your knees then let you fall on your face. The things outsiders endured in this country just to put food on their table and make a better life for their families . Many tear were shed when they were dealt with unfair after paying their dues to stay here. What goes around will come back around, only with more force. No respect for God or humanity, "woe to this land if it becomes independent". No resources to survive on it's own.
    • brad boynes. (22/05/2018, 13:50) Like (7) Dislike (5) Reply
      Outsiders don't really get treated as bad as people like you make it seem.. Speak the truth. If the treatment is so bad why are you here? Straight talk.why are you here? Pretty sure you have options available to you. Come on the blog hiding talking bull nonsense. Call me if you want straight talk 545-6871.
  • Yes (22/05/2018, 10:57) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Can we March now Doug? After the deal is done....
  • Dim Sum (22/05/2018, 11:09) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Some offshore financial centers are careless with the data they have.. example One of the larger accounting firms in Cayman have about 180 gigs of info about to be released. #caymanpapers

    No other options now apart from diversifying the economy, less restrictive red tape for small businesses, get alternative energy going, the Marine sciences up and running, agriculture needs revamping with a clear long-term view. All this energy wasted knowing fully well the HOL wouldn’t overturn this legislation as this was not the first or second attempt to get it passed.

    The noise makers knew this all along and are just rallying the emotional supporters to their aid in defending the dwindling sector.
  • time will tell (22/05/2018, 14:48) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    You can go in a man's house but not in his heart. The U.K., and by extension, its lords and commoners, has shown its true colours ... finally. The charade is over. They, of all people, should know that you should not shoot a man in the foot when he is lying on the ground suffering and in pain.

    The haters who live among us, who have sucked on our nipples for years, are now crawling out of the woodworks, and are now showing their true colours, too, by the caustic and unnecessary comments they are making.

    Just remember, people, today for me, tomorrow for you. We WILL rise again. Time is longer than twine, so continue to laugh. He who laughs last laughs best.
  • DON Q (23/05/2018, 07:41) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    The british dont care about we bottom line

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