What is the BVI FSC?
The BVI Financial Services Commission, is the Territory’s single financial services Regulator. As such, the entity is responsible for the authorization and licensing of companies wishing to conduct business within the borders of the Islands. Towards this end, they monitor the activity of financial services performed within the jurisdiction in order to protect the public from illegal or unethical practices.
The Financial Services Commission is responsible, through the Registry of Corporate Affairs, of the registration of companies established within the territory, the formation of Limited Partnerships and the registration of patents and trademarks. Visit the FSC
What is the BVI FSC’s Licensing and Supervisory Committee?
The Licensing and Supervisory Committee is the authorization arm of the BVI FSC. As such, responsibilities are to assess all applications for licensing and certificates of operation within the BVI and to protect the interest of depositors, investors, consumers and the Territory itself.
What do you need in order to receive a license or certificate?
Individuals or businesses interested in receiving a license or certificate from the BVI FSC’s Licensing and Supervisory Committee must meet all relevant BVI laws and policies established through international regulatory organizations. Eligibility for a license is limited to companies with sufficient capital investment, adequate systems and sound management teams.
Once a license is issued, the Committee maintains ongoing supervision of authorized entities in order to ensure their continuous compliance with relevant regulation. A list of individuals and businesses licensed is maintained by the Committee and available to the public.
The Committee’s actions are determined by consensus and in the absence of unanimity, the matter is referred to the FSC Board for resolution.
Enforcement and Compliance
The reputation maintained by the BVI Financial Services Commission as a credible and respected regulator lies in its ability to enforce legislation and impose penalties over entities who fail to comply with such laws. In order to achieve this objective, the Commission has established a process of enforcement and compliance in which businesses are active participants.
Every entity conducting business within the jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands must appoint a compliance officer, whose responsibility is ensuring that the business is in constant compliance with the jurisdiction’s rules and regulations. The compliance officer is required by law to maintain a manual outlining compliance procedures and he/she acts as the liaison between the business and the Financial Services Commission.
At any given time, the Commission has the authority to conduct inspections of the premises of regulated entities located both inside and outside of the Territory, where all systems, assets and documents are audited.
In the event of an entity being found in violation of the regulations set forth by the BVI Financial Services Commission, the regulator may at its discretion, revoke or suspend the license certificate. Some of the reasons for which a regulated entity may have their license revoked or suspended are:
Providing the Commission with false, inaccurate or misleading information
Breaching any term or condition of its license
Failing to comply with a Commission directive
Engaging in money laundering
Violating financial service laws and regulations
Conducting business in a way that is detrimental to the public interest or to the interest of clients, creditors or investors
In the event of the Commission determining that a violation has been made, the licensed entity is entitled to appeal in front of the BVI Financial Services Appeal Board, who review every appeal and consider objections in a formal hearing. A decision can either be made to dismiss the appeal, accept it, or turn the case over to the Board, the Commission or the Executive Licensing Committee for further consideration. Decisions made by the Appeal Board are final.