Secondary Menu

What is the annual licence fee for banks and when are they payable?

  1. General Banking Licence: twenty thousand dollars (US$20,000)
  2. Restricted Class I Banking Licence: sixteen thousand dollars (US$16,000).
  3. Restricted Class II Banking Licence: sixteen thousand dollars (US$16,000).

Payment of these annual licence (renewal) fees is due during the month of January

What are the capital adequacy guidelines for bank licensees?

Under the Banks and Trust Companies Act, 1990 General Banking Licence holders are required to have a minimum fully paid up capital of not less than US$2,000,000 or its equivalent in foreign currencies, or such sum as the Commission, by order determines, and has deposited or invested the sum of $500,000 in such manner as the Commission by order, prescribes.

Under the Banks and Trust Companies Act, 1990 Restricted Class I and Restricted Class II Banking Licence holders are required to have a minimum fully paid up capital of not less than US$1,000,000 or its equivalent in foreign currencies, or such sum as the Commission, by order determines, and has deposited or invested the sum of $500,000 in such manner as the Commission by order, prescribes.

The Financial Services Commission adopts the guidelines as set by the Basel Committee for bank regulation and supervisory practices for the calculation of the capital adequacy ratio. The Basel Committee recommends a minimum capital adequacy ratio based on risk weighted assets of 8%.

What information is required for the approval of the appointment of directors/senior officers of a bank?

Documentation required for the appointment of a director/senior officer:

  • Two professional character references
  • A police certificate or notarized affidavit as to non- criminal record
  • A completed personal questionnaire
  • Notarized copy of individual passport identification page(s).
  • Detailed resume

What is an Authorised Agent?

An Authorised Agent is a person designated by a bank to act as an intermediary between the licence holder and the Commission.

What is the requirement for seeking approval for the change of a shareholder(s)/beneficial interest?

When changing a shareholder/beneficial interest of a bank, the Commission must be presented with a breakdown of the bank's proposed shareholding (which must indicate the number and percentage of shares held by each proposed shareholder). Additionally, information on the new shareholder must include the following:

  • Two professional character references (plus one financial reference)
  • A police certificate or notarized affidavit as to non- criminal record
  • A completed personal questionnaire
  • Notarized copy of individual passport identification page(s).
  • Detailed resume

What criteria are used to determine whether an applicant for a licence is & "fit and proper"?

In determining whether an individual is "fit and proper" the Commission will consider: (a) honesty, integrity and reputation (b) competence and capability and (c) financial soundness, of the principals and companies associated with the applicant.

How may I obtain a list of the Authorised Agents and Registered Agents of the BVI?

A list of the Authorised Registered Agents of the BVI may be accessed via this website.

What can I do if I have a complaint against a bank in the BVI?

Should you have a complaint against a BVI bank, you are invited to write to the bank explaining your concerns and ask that your request be reviewed by a senior officer or manager of the bank (one who is not directly involved in the complaint). The BVI Financial Services Commission is responsible for the supervision of banks in the British Virgin Islands and does not have the authority to act as arbitrator between parties to a dispute. Albeit, if you feel that the bank has not addressed your concerns the Commission will act mainly as an intermediary, between the complainant and the bank (delete - in question), and seek to establish a factual account of the situation. The Commission will work towards determining whether any violation of laws, regulations and/or policy guidelines has occurred. Complaints are to be made in writing by letter, fax or email to the BVI Financial Services Commission (Commissioner@bvifsc.vg).

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 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.

Pages