On 15 July 2016, more than 60 corporate service providers, lawyers and other financial services practitioners attended a ‘Meet the Regulator in Hong Kong’ seminar hosted by BVI House Asia, which was held today at the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce.
On hand to provide updates and perspectives from the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission (BVI FSC) on the BVI’s corporate registry system VIRRGIN, the register of directors, beneficial ownership, training, information security and proposed legislative reforms were Mr. Cherno Jallow, QC, Director of Policy, Research and Statistics and Ms. Jennifer Potter-Questelles, Deputy Managing Director, Corporate Services.
Mr. Jallow provided an update on the current discussions on beneficial ownership at the international level, the UK’s agenda on tax, trade and transparency, the UK/BVI exchange of notes and accompanying protocol, and the BVI Government’s position on the proposed automatic exchange of beneficial ownership information.
Mr. Jallow also reiterated the BVI Government’s position that the BVI would not establish a central register of beneficial ownership, but would have an equivalent system that would allow law enforcement authorities to request and share information. He provided information on proposed legislative updates, emphasizing that BVI authorities would have consultation with the practitioners before introducing new initiatives.
Ms. Potter-Questelles updated attendees on VIRRGIN and VIRRGIN LITE, register of director filings, and data security. She gave the practitioners the good news that starting in September the Hong Kong-based affiliates of BVI licensees would be able to have access to VIRRGIN, including doing name searches and name reservations.
Also in attendance at the event were Mr. Leon Wheatley, Asia Representative, BVI FSC, Ms. Simone Martin, Deputy Director, Fiduciary Services, and Ms. Elise Donovan, Director, BVI House Asia.
Mr. Wheatley said he was pleased with the turnout, which he said is representative of the good relationship and cooperation that the BVI Financial Services Commission, the regulator for the jurisdiction’s financial services, maintains with the Hong Kong practitioners doing BVI business in the Asia Pacific region.