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FAQs

 

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 do I pay for transactions using VIRRGIN?

VIRRGIN supports payments for transactions 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.

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.

Can a grandfathered bearer share company whose memorandum was amended by operation of law under paragraph 34A(1) amend its memorandum to allow the company to issue bearer shares, convert registered shares to bearer shares or exchange registered shares for bearer shares?

The Act does not prevent a grandfathered bearer share company whose memorandum was amended by operation of law under paragraph 34A(1) of Schedule 2 from amending its memorandum to allow for the issue of bearer shares and the conversion/exchange of bearer shares to registered shares. The provisions of section 13 of the Act would apply and the relevant application form is R204. The amendment would not, however, relate to the disabled bearer shares but to the issue of prospective bearer shares and the conversion/exchange of same to/for registered shares.

What is the total asset size of the captive sector and what is the total premium volume?

Current statistics on the captive (and other sectors) may be found in the most recent edition of the BVI FSC Statistical Bulletin.

What information must be submitted on the shareholder of a captive?

If the shareholder is an individual, full details about the person, (including references, resumes, certified copy of passport photo/details page and other supporting due diligence information) must be provided to the BVI FSC. Full requirements are outlined in the Guidelines for the Approved Persons Regime.

If the shareholder is a company, evidence of incorporation, articles of association of the company, names and addresses of ultimate beneficial owners and other supporting information must be submitted to the BVI FSC. Full details may be found in the Guidelines for the Approved Persons Regime published by the BVI FSC.

If the shareholder is a trust, a copy of the trust deed must be submitted to the BVI FSC. The trust deed should provide details on the trustee, protector, beneficiary, etc. Explicit due diligence requirements that relate to trusts as shareholders may be found in the Approved Forms and Related Guidelines published by the BVI FSC.

What are the requirements for seeking approval for the change of shareholder/beneficial interest of a licence holder?

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

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

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%.

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.

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

Can Foreign Character Names be submitted separately?

For existing name reservations, please add foreign character names PRIOR to submission for incorporation. Foreign Character Names cannot be submitted separately except for Change of Name filings. For applications with foreign character names that were not attached to the name reservation, prior to 29 January 2007, please send foreign characters to foreigncharacters@bvifsc.vg

What happens if a company does not appoint a registered agent within the prescribed time?

Failure by a company to appoint a registered agent within the prescribed timeframe means that the company cannot effect any transaction which under the Act can be effected only by a registered agent. In addition, the company may be in violation of its obligations under the Act and is therefore liable to be struck off the Register.

Would the amendment “revive” the entitlements that were extinguished when the bearer shares were disabled?

The amendment would NOT serve to revive any entitlements that were extinguished when the bearer shares were disabled. This would require an application to the Court for an extension of time to deposit the shares with a custodian or to convert the shares to registered shares. The amendment would relate to the issue of prospective bearer shares and the conversion/exchange of same to/for bearer shares.

What is the regulatory authority for captives in the BVI?

The BVI FSC is the regulatory authority for captives and the insurance sector generally as well as all other regulated financial services activities

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