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FAQs

 

What are the different types of banking licences issued by the British Virgin Islands?

There are three banking licences issued under the Banks and Trust Companies Act, 1990; a General Banking Licence, a Restricted Class I Banking Licence and a Restricted Class II Banking Licence.

What happens when I file an appeal on a name?

Once the Name Appeal is processed by the Registry, the system will return an email confirmation that includes the proposed name, name reservation number, status and time remaining on the reservation period.

Will the Registry make changes to name reservations on an agent's behalf?

Please reserve names exactly as you would like them to appear on the company’s documents. The Registry cannot make changes to name reservations or to applications for incorporation on the agent’s behalf.

Did the company numbers change?

All companies that were automatically re-registered will now have the number 700,000 appended to their original company number. For example company number 1 was changed to company number 700,001, company number 567 was changed to company number 700,567, etc.

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.

Are all insurance companies required to have Insurance Managers?

Only captive insurers are mandated to appoint and and at all times have an insurance manager.

A foreign insurer is required to have a representative in the BVI if it does not operate a branch in the BVI. The representative may be licensed either as an insurance agent or insurance manager.

What are the minimum requirements for a Company Management Licence?

The minimum requirements for obtaining a Company Management Licence are: proven company management experience, a minimum paid up capital of twenty five thousand dollars (US$25,000) and physical presence in the British Virgin Islands. The application fee is two hundred dollars (US$200). Special Note: These requirements are by no means exhaustive.

Note: A consensus has now emerged that only in circumstances where the institution concerned is of blue chip international stature and renown, whose presence in the jurisdiction would be a fillip to the reputation of the BVI as a situs for conduct of international business; or where the institution concerned will be providing additional services not currently provided within the jurisdiction, will company management licences be granted to companies other than companies with local ownership and a physical presence here in the BVI. In both cases, the company is expected to establish its own physical presence and apply for a general trust licence within two years of the grant of the licence. All other interests will initally have to apply for a General Trust Licence.

What are the minimum requirements for a General Banking Licence?

The minimum requirements for obtaining a General Banking Licence are: proven banking experience, a minimum paid up capital of two million dollars (US$2,000,000), physical presence in the British Virgin Islands and the applicant must meet our "fit and proper" criteria. Special Note: These requirements are by no means exhaustive.

Further, an applicant who receives written confirmation that the grant of a General Banking licence has been approved is required to make a deposit or investment of five hundred thousand dollars (US$500,000).

Can I have more than one (1) Authorised Signatory?

Yes! Each Authorised Signatory must be setup by the FSC. Please complete the relevant sections on pages 2 and 3 of the Registration Form for each authorised signatory. Authorised Signatories within VIRRGIN are the ONLY users allowed to submit filings that require payment and create staff login accounts for other employees.

How can I amend a name reservation?

Existing name reservations can be amended in the following ways prior to submission of the incorporation

  1. Change in case for each word
  2. Addition of the letter S to any word
  3. Addition of spaces
  4. Addition of punctuation (for example: “&”, “,”, “-“ etc)

For major changes to an existing name reservation we suggest that you request immediate expiration of the name (nameres@bvifsc.vg) and upon receipt of the expiration confirmation re-reserve the name as required.

If a company was struck off the Register, and remained struck off on 1 January, 2009, was it automatically be re-registered?

No. Only companies on the Register on 1 January, 2009 were re-registered. If the company is restored and all outstanding fees are paid, it will then deem to have been re-registered on 1 January, 2009

Can the owners of disabled bearer shares in a grandfathered bearer share company submit them to the company and request their exchange for registered shares?

The option of converting or exchanging an existing bearer share of a grandfathered bearer share company to a registered share expired on the transition date. After the transition date the existing bearer shares became disabled and the rights attaching to them were extinguished. In the circumstances, a disabled bearer share may not be exchanged for or converted to a registered share.

Is there a separate fee payable for the approval to appoint directors, senior officers, functionaries or auditors where the approval forms part of an application for licensing, registration or recognition?

As the processing of new applications under SIBA involves the assessment of the applicant’s directors, senior officers, functionaries and auditors, a separate fee is not payable for approval of the appointment.

What is the minimum margin of solvency requirement for an insurer?

Insurer Minimum Solvency Margin

General Insurers

written premiums less than $500,000 $100,000

written premiums $500,000-$5,000,000 20% of annual net written premium

written premium greater than $5,000,000 $1,000,000 PLUS 10% of difference

difference between annual net written premium and $5,000,000

Long-term Insurers $250,000

the prescribed minimum solvency margin is $100,000;

  • if the insurer’s annual net written premium is greater than $500,000, but less than $5,000,000, the prescribed minimum solvency margin is 20% of the annual net written premium;
  • if the insurer’s annual net written premium is greater than $5,000,000, the prescribed minimum solvency margin is $1,000,000 plus 10% of the difference between the annual net written premium and $5,000,000.

Long-term insurers - the prescribed minimum solvency margin is $250,000

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