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'We are not panicking in the industry'– Ayana S. Hull

- but said the VI is not going to 'play dead' while the UK legislates for the financial services industry
Author of the book ‘Financial Services Demystified’, Lawyer, author of the Territorial Song and member of the organising committee of the national march and public demonstration scheduled for some time this month, Ayana S. Hull, has said it is unfair that the United Kingdom continues to move the goalpost when the Virgin Islands Financial Services sector remains compliant to their demands and policies. Photo: VINO/File
The Virgin Islands is one of the most regulated financial services jurisdictions in the world. Photo: VINO/File
The Virgin Islands is one of the most regulated financial services jurisdictions in the world. Photo: VINO/File
Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline, left, and Ms Ayana S. Hull, right, during the radio show Honestly Speaking on May 8, 2018. Photo: Facebook
Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline, left, and Ms Ayana S. Hull, right, during the radio show Honestly Speaking on May 8, 2018. Photo: Facebook
Also on the show were former political candidate and businesswoman, Zoe J. Walcott-McMillan (right) and Entrepreneur and Architect, Dion A. Stoutt (left). Photo: Facebook
Also on the show were former political candidate and businesswoman, Zoe J. Walcott-McMillan (right) and Entrepreneur and Architect, Dion A. Stoutt (left). Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- In response to the recent decision in The United Kingdom’s (UK) House of Commons to make public the register of Beneficial Owners for companies in their Overseas Territories (OTs), a group of residents has formed a committee and, with government’s and other stakeholders' participation, are planning a public demonstration in the form of a march.

The initial date was set to be May 17, 2018; however, there is talk of switching to May 24, 2018 to accommodate the participation of other OTs. Author of the book 'Financial Services Demystified', Lawyer, author of the Territorial Song and member of the organising committee of the march, Ayana S. Hull explained that “An initial date was set for the 17th [May]. We got word two days or so ago that our Cayman Islands colleagues would like to participate in any sort of demonstration and so a better date for them will be on the 24th. So, you may hear these two dates going around.”

Ms Hull was at the time a guest on the Honestly Speaking Show with Claude O. Skelton Cline, aired on Tuesday May 8, 2018 on ZBVI 780 AM and live streamed on the show's Facebook page. Also on the show were former political candidate and businesswoman Zoe J. Walcott-McMillan and entrepreneur and architect Dion A. Stoutt.

Hull further stated that “We are trying to get all the OTs to demonstrate at the same time. There has been good response to it, Bermuda, Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands at least. There are some of the OTs like Anguilla who may not be as affected because their Financial Services industries have not reached the epic proportion as ours.”

The Demonstration Committee

Earlier information stated that Mr John I. Cline, a former Chairman of the BVI Health Services Authority Board, is spearheading the national march and demonstration that is to start at 2:00 P.M. from the Road Town Sunday Morning Well and end at Government House.

Ms Hull, in her discourse, explained that “A committee was asked to come together to consider whether there should be a public demonstration against the UK’s decision. It’s very much in the planning stages.” Besides Mr Cline and Ms Hull, national hero, Ms Patsy C. Lake and Zoe J. Walcott- McMillian, are also working with the committee.

“It’s a community effort but we have sought Government's participation in it,” Ms Hull said, while explaining the dynamics of the committee. Those expected to speak include Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL), Opposition Leader Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) and others from the financial services sector, a story first and accurately reported by this news site.

The purpose of the march

While Mr Cline had stated that "we are marching for economic justice and our dignity as a people," Ms Hull explained that “The purpose of the march, that’s what I want to get us to understand, is that whether we make a difference to the UK or not, we have to set out that we are concerned about your indifference towards us, that’s what we have to set out. That we have to show you that we are not going to sit here as a jurisdiction and play dead while you basically legislate an industry for us that is so significant and nobody is concerned about how it’s going to impact us. So, we have to be concerned about that.”

Public demonstrations have brought about changes to the Virgin Islands, ranging from constitutional changes to repurchasing portions of land sold under unfair conditions (Noel Lloyd and The Positive Action Movement/Bates Hill Agreement). The committee is calling on all persons to be involved in the demonstration as the vote is expected to impact the entire territory. It was reiterated that the Financial Services sector impacts 80% of the economy, including all public servants.

Present conditions in FSC

Though it has now been 1 week since the decision by the UK House of Commons, Ms Hull reassured that things are still stable in the industry. “I haven’t seen any fall out in the industry. …Our Investors are used to this. Until when things settle and they understand exactly what the issue is, we haven’t seen so much movement,” she stated.

She went on to explain that “Our issue is not worrying about the immediacy of losing our business, we are not panicking in the industry. We are really concerned about whether we should have someone just determining every two or three years, every time we do something that you should move the goal post and have us like a hamster on a wheel. That’s the real issue for us...”

28 Responses to “'We are not panicking in the industry'– Ayana S. Hull”

  • pat (09/05/2018, 11:44) Like (28) Dislike (2) Reply
    good show but keep politics out of it and it will be successful
  • TOGETHER (09/05/2018, 11:51) Like (21) Dislike (6) Reply
  • TOGETHER (09/05/2018, 11:58) Like (36) Dislike (4) Reply
  • ... (09/05/2018, 12:27) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    They all made good points March we will
  • Webonics1 (09/05/2018, 12:48) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    Why are Members of the United Kingdom wanting to secede from the Union but remain in the Kingdom geographically
    The "British Virgin Islands" ....Who give us those Credentials and now claiming that it is an matter of Sovereignty that
    Logistically how does one Nation determine its own Sovereignty as part of an Union...
  • However (09/05/2018, 13:17) Like (8) Dislike (11) Reply
    Despite the very unfortunate timing of this UK decision, the fact remains that a large bit of the revenues generated here in the Financial Services industry are being "paid for" by monies that should or could have gone to the same countries that are now pressing for this to be stopped. In my humble opinion the goal post on regulations will continue to be moved until such time that they accomplish their goal. Which form their side is completely logical and fair.
    • @However (09/05/2018, 13:34) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
      I would say to that that tax avoidance by their nationals is not illegal. Tax evasion is. These measures are more to do with taxes than crime and in that you are correct. They have a right to protect their money and we have a right to protect our industry. All we are asking is that the negotiations be fair. We have been complying with a moving goal post since 1990. Compliance is not new to us. We understand it and we accept it and we do not encourage criminals or the proceeds of their crime. We have robust anti-money laundering legislation and systems in place to detect this. Our issue is two-fold: (1) the fight must be fair, constitutional and within the rule of law. Privacy is still a fundamental right of persons. Why should their information be public when we have it privately and can share it with you in an hour? No one has sensibly addressed that issue in a convincing way; and (2) If we are to accept that this is the standard we are to achieve, then it must be the global standard for everyone and not just the overseas territories. We should not be forced by the UK to become victims of our own success. It is wrong and we should not accept it. We should send that message clearly, quickly and consistently.
  • just asking... (09/05/2018, 13:31) Like (25) Dislike (1) Reply
    so all of a sudden we are to sing kumbaya at what point will the same three organize a march for our 7.2 M for a plane that is yet to fly??????
    • ALSO (09/05/2018, 20:16) Like (15) Dislike (2) Reply

      For the 40million overrun at the Pier Park where three of those on the panel gain and continue to gain from. I am not holding hands with any of them. Save yourself.

    • Reply (09/05/2018, 21:43) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      one thing at a time
    • lucille (10/05/2018, 04:39) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Nobody singing nothing.
      But why them??
      Y don’t you step out there and organize it??
      Just asking???
  • qc (09/05/2018, 13:37) Like (3) Dislike (8) Reply
    WHAT is Government and the Industry so scared of? What are you all hiding and are so afraid will become public?
  • Not2Sure (09/05/2018, 13:38) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Do you and BVIslanders really think anything is private in these day?
  • Sadiqq Khan (09/05/2018, 13:39) Like (9) Dislike (8) Reply
    Ms. Hull stated: ‘We are really concerned about whether we should have someone just determining every two or three years,....’. Whom is this ‘someone’ you are referring to? Is it the HOL, FCO, or some other nefarious individual? You made interesting points that there hasn’t been any movement so far always from BVI FS. The sector is stable and the projected protraction (which has not been published) would be minimal. So what’s all the noise about basically then? BVI has no bargaining chips or leverage against the G6/G8 countries & independence is a definite No-No! I’d like to know which government officials and senior managers own what companies doing business with said government. Why hasn’t the other promised legislations been debated and marched for so vehemently? For a so-called Christian nation we allow homosexual marriages to become the norm, we ignore the illegal and bad deeds while rewarding them. This demonstration/march is for the highly paid FS practitioners that fear losing their cushy lifestyles here and may have to pack up shop/house/Georgie bundle and go foreign to look work! Adios!
    • @Sadiqq Khan (09/05/2018, 20:01) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
      The someone would be Dame Hodge who has been crusading for this move to gain traction for most of her later political career. The fact that we have not yet seen a fall out does not mean the sector will not be affected. The fact that we have not been affected may be due to the fact that our clients have seen us being taken hostage before and we have been resilient to deal with the issues or stay the disadvantage to them. It is very early in the game here and it would be naïve to believe that any person who is expected to expose their name, number of shares they own, date they obtained them and date they ceased being a shareholder, would not seek a jurisdiction that does not have those same requirements, such as Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man! The noise is about not allowing our fundamental rights to be breached without defending those freedoms. The right to privacy is a basic human right. That right is enshrined in our constitution. See Chapter 2:Section 19 which provides the protection of private and family life and privacy of home and other property. Every person has the right to respect for his or her private and family life, his or her home and his or her correspondence, including business and professional communications. We do have bargaining chips. We can demonstrate and hope that our seriousness individually and across the OTs make a difference. Do you suggest we sit down and do nothing and just accept what we get? We may not be ready for independence I agree (mentally or otherwise) but we certainly need to seek a better constitutional arrangement in the short term, while we prepare for the long term, to be able to control our own economic freedom and wherewithal so that we do not always be caught in the middle of the UK's own issues. Do not fool yourself, this is more about UK internal issues with BREXIT, Sergei Skripal poisoning and all their recent issues with the Russians for that matter. We should be looking at a joint OTs coalition to fight in numbers against these injustices. So, we do not agree that we should be killed and not fight. That is not an option for us. We have a history of surviving economic and moral injustices, straight back to the slave trade. We remember it. Our DNA expects it and we are ready to deal with it every time it arises. I am not sure what other legislation you refer to. As far as I am aware the BVI has not passed into law any legislation that allows same sex marriages. If that is indeed so, do let me know and we can continue this conversation. This demonstration march is hardly about the highly paid FS practitioners. These persons are highly paid because they are highly qualified and can find work elsewhere. Ironically, they will survive this the best. Professionals always have options. This demonstration/march is about the survival of the legacy of a people over the last 68 years of legislative autonomy. It is to show our respect to our forefathers for their fight. The Theodolf Falkner, Noel Lloyd, the Lavity Stoutt, Cyril Romney visionaries of our days past. And to ensure that we do not let anyone including the mother country believe that we have so lost our hope as a people, that we believe that our entire hope rests solely in her. That is what this demonstration march is really about. We are a proud, resilient people with our integrity and dignity and though usually passive, we do know when we need to rise up and protect our future and our children's future. We hope you would reconsider your goodbyes!
    • get a grip (09/05/2018, 21:55) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
      You clearly don’t understand the impact this will have on our economy. While you may think it’s all about this cushy lifestyle of some but it is bigger than that. Many lives can or may change. Loss of income due to little or no jobs for some. Just think about it. I am not saying go March but do keep an open mind. It is not over yet.
  • sam the man (09/05/2018, 13:42) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    our citizens will be left behind, and it appears that is what the UK wants,"
  • Eagle Eye (10/05/2018, 02:51) Like (4) Dislike (7) Reply
    Lets go Ayana we need a representative who can hold a portfolio in the 6 district.
  • Crabs (10/05/2018, 03:47) Like (11) Dislike (4) Reply
    where were all these crabs when locals were being abuse and victimized by the state, the same Hull woman is part of the oppressive NDP victimizing and destroying people and families, where were all these crabs when our monies were being used like personal accounts to enrich a few, where were all these talk show host and men of the cloth? they haven't said one word to speak up against injustice in this country but now the UK starting to clean up the shit they have going on, they want march. You all could go march and go independence too, you sure will have a better BVI for you and you, you would have work for every BVI lander and lots of empty apartments and land for sale.
  • BRAD BOYNES (10/05/2018, 05:41) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
    When the dust clears. The BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS will still be in place. I will be living here come hell or high water. Who wants to leave may do so. Who wants to stay may do so.
  • wow (10/05/2018, 08:16) Like (9) Dislike (4) Reply
    Fascinating to me how the same politicians (and their cronies) that advocated for surrendering our sovereignty to the UK just a few weeks ago now believe they can be credibly received as champions of self determination. Can’t have it both ways. If sovereignty was not important as a political ideal then, you don’t get to complain a few weeks later now, when lack of sovereignty jeapordizes your economic security. All that does is reveal you as morally bankrupt and only concerned with money. Now the community is being asked protest colonialism? Where was all this leadership before?? Certainly not standing up for our political sovereignty. Certainly not preparing for the eventuality of a changing financial services industry. Certainly not lobbying UK politicians to preserve our economy stability. I am sorry but I have a major issue with anyone having the temerity to ask for my support after having adicaticated the responsibility of representing me. Let me know when march against the NDP is organized!!!
  • confused (10/05/2018, 08:24) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
  • Financial query (10/05/2018, 11:45) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
    A genuine query for you experts out there:
    We have these 'constantly moving goal posts' and over the years have complied with numerous requirements from outside agencies - UK, G8, EU, FACTA, BOSS, etc - to stop money laundering, tax evasion, terrorist and criminal proceeds etc. from being washed through our anonymous company system. We've complied and complied and complied, right?
    Would the BVI have implemented ANY of these changes themselves if they had not been forced to?
    Or would we have been happy to keep servicing the criminal along the side the legitimate?
    This defence of our whole financial service sector appears to sit on shaky ground in this sense. Seems to me we have always been comfortable with an ethics-free business model, but have always complied with the rules in order to keep the money-printer printing.
  • rattie (10/05/2018, 13:56) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Hope the people come out for the march or else lots of people will have egg on their faces
  • Anti corruption (10/05/2018, 16:08) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    So will staying at home be the silent vote against corruption and waste of the proceeds that financial services has brought to the wealthy few
  • (11/05/2018, 05:33) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    So why we couldn't have a march to remove the present Administration? They causing more damage than anything else.

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