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How may I obtain a copy of the Banks and Trust Companies Act, 1990?

The Banks and Trust Companies Act, 1990 is a fairly large document with several amendments. Many service providers unofficial consolidated copies available for their clients. In so far that a specific issue may be in question, the FSC can arrange to mail or fax you a copy of relevant sections.

How do I pay for transactions using VIRRGIN?

VIRRGIN supports payments for transactipns using credit cards, electronic cheques, electronic funds transfer and a prepaid deposit account. You may start a deposit account with the FSC and payment for transactions using VIRRGIN are automatically deducted from your available balance.

How do I transfer names from one agent to another?

The Registry cannot facilitate the transfer of names from one agent to another. The holder of the approved name must request immediate expiration of the name to allow the second agent to complete the name reservation

If an individual/company was carrying on management functions for a former local company, is the person considered the registered agent for the company?

No. The concept of registered agent was not recognised under the old CAP Companies Act, therefore, the company does not have a registered agent until one is appointed. (Paragraph 46 Schedule 2, Part VI of the BVI Business Companies Act, Transitional Provisions.). However, the registered office previously held will continue to be recognised until a change in registered office is filed.


What is the effect of transitional provisions in an enactment? How do they relate to the other provisions in the same enactment?

Essentially, transitional provisions in an enactment (principal or subsidiary) outline precisely when and how specified operative parts in the enactment are to take effect. They are designed to facilitate a transition from an existing regime to a new regime.

As Thornton (in his book titled “Legislative Drafting”) outlines, “The function of a transitional provision is to make special provision for the application of legislation to the circumstances which exist at the time when that legislation comes into force”. Transitional provisions in an enactment therefore give effect to existing scenarios/matters by outlining how (and when) they should be treated and modify the application of the substantive provisions in the enactment. They must therefore not be read in isolation and, unless they are specifically excluded with respect to existing scenarios/matters, they must be given effect.

Section 248 of the BVI Business Companies Act, 2004, (“BVIBCA”) specifically provides that “the transitional provisions set out in Schedule 2 apply” and that Schedule has the heading “Transitional Provisions”. The effect of the Schedule is to outline how companies under the old regimes (CapCo and IBC) would be treated or transitioned into the BVIBCA and, unless otherwise specifically excluded, the transitional provisions apply to those companies and matters relative to them to the exclusion of any other provision in the Act. Division 5 of Part IV of Schedule 2 of the Act is headed “Bearer Shares in Grandfathered Bearer Share Companies” and thus all bearer shares within the scope of a company which qualifies as a grandfathered bearer share company would fall to be treated in accordance with the terms of that Division as opposed to any other provision of the Act (unless specifically stated otherwise).

Consequently, a grandfathered bearer share company whose memorandum is amended by virtue of the operation of law in accordance with the terms of paragraph 34A (1) of Division 5 of Part IV of Schedule 2 would effectively have its bearer shares disabled (unless “revived” by a court order under paragraph 35 (4)). Indeed paragraph 35 outlines how an existing bearer share of a grandfathered bearer share company is to be treated and the consequences flowing therefrom.

In this context, the provisions of sections 38 (2) and Division 5 of Part III of the Act relate only to bearer shares that are not the subject of transition; they cannot be read to override the transitional provisions relative to bearer shares in a grandfathered bearer share company. To read this subject differently would be negating the purpose and effect of the transitional provisions and the whole purpose and intent of a transitional provision in an enactment.

Are application fees and approval fees payable in respect of applications for the appointment of a director or functionary of a public fund?

With effect from January 1, 2011, the application fee for the appointment of a director of a public fund is $150 and the approval fee for the appointment of a director of a public fund is $250. There is no application fee or approval fee for the appointment of a functionary of a public fund.

How many insurance managers are in the British Virgin Islands?

Current statistics on insurance managers (and Insurance sector generally) may be found in the most recent edition of the BVI FSC Statistical Bulletin.

At the end of 2013 there were 14 insurance managers licensed to carry on insurance business as an insurance manager in the BVI.

What are the capital adequacy guidelines for Company Managers?

Under the Company Management Act, 1990, a Company Manager is required to have a minimum paid up capital of twenty five thousand dollars (US$25,000).

What are the licensing requirements for a bank?

The legal requirement for obtaining a banking licence in the Virgin Islands is governed by the Banks and Trust Companies Act, 1990. Section 3 of this Act provides that no person or company incorporated in the Virgin Islands shall carry on banking business from within the Virgin Islands, unless that person or company has obtained a licence under this Act. Further, section 4(4) of this Act states: "If the Commission is satisfied that an application to carry on banking business is not against the public interest and that the applicant is a person qualified to carry on banking business, it may grant the application and issue to the applicant a licence subject to such terms and conditions as it thinks fit."

How may I obtain an application form for a banking licence?

Application forms are available on the website. However, potential applicants are asked to note that applications should be forwarded to the Commission either through a Legal Advocate or Registered Agent. A list of each can be found on this website.

What happens when there is no money in my deposit account?

If you do not have enough funds in your deposit account to support the transactions you are trying to complete you have several options:

  • increase your deposit account through a payment at the Registry
  • select an alternative payment method e.g. credit card
  • remove some items from your transaction list to reduce the transaction total

What do I do when I receive a defect notification?

On receiving a defect notification, please use VIRRGIN to correct and return the filing. Additionally, please alert staff when a defective transaction is selected from the drop down list because the transaction is automatically saved to the staff’s profile that is handling the filing and cannot be accessed by Registry or other agent staff.

How much time does a company have to appoint a registered agent?

A company had two months from the date of automatic re-registered to appoint a registered agent. An amendments to Schedule 2 of the Act is being considered to extend this period beyond 2 months and if this occurs the public will be notified accordingly. However, former local companies are strongly advised to ain to comply with the current requirements of two months (which ends of 28 February, 2009) within which to appoint registered agents.

If the owners of bearer shares of a grandfathered bearer share company failed to deposit them with a custodian or to convert them to or exchange them for registered shares before 31 December, 2009 what options are now available?

The Act provides a clear solution under paragraph 35(4) of Division 5 of Part IV of Schedule 2 (Schedule 2). The company or a person interested in the bearer share may apply to the Court to extend the transition date. The Court hearing the application may extend the transition date by such further period or periods not exceeding one year in total as it considers fit.

Are application fees and approval fees payable for the appointment of a director or senior officer of an investment business licensee?

With effect from January 1, 2011, the application fee for the appointment of a director or senior officer of an investment business licensee is $150 and the approval fee for the appointment of a director or senior officer of an investment business licensee is $250.