STATEMENT BY PREMIER OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
DR. THE HONOURABLE ORLANDO SMITH, OBE
AT JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE WITH LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2018
at 3:30 p.m.
We are deeply disturbed by the decision in the United Kingdom which threatens to impose public registers on the BVI.
The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill received the Royal Assent and became an Act today, May 23.
We believe this is a deeply flawed policy because we have the Beneficial Ownership Secure Search System (BOSSs) which balances privacy and transparency – two fundamental elements which underpin our globally recognised and internationally compliant approach to beneficial ownership information.
The Government of the Virgin Islands is committed to pursuing all available legal channels to ensure that publicly available beneficial ownership registers are introduced in the BVI only if and when they become a global standard, which would establish a level playing field for all.
According to the rule of law and the BVI’s constitution, the fundamental rights of privacy of all persons, including citizens and corporate entities, must be protected and upheld.
Honourable Fahie joined me on the delegation which went to express our views in London. His presence and continued engagement is testament to the unified approach we are taking to tackle this together as a Territory.
My Government remains focused on the fight against financial crime and ensuring that law enforcement authorities have access to verified beneficial ownership information.
It will also do all in its power to ensure that the financial services sector remains an integral part of the BVI’s economic future.