British Virgin Islands

New Documents

The British Virgin Islands’ Financial Services Commission shared summaries of legislative updates to the Business Companies Act and Business Companies Regulations which seek to strengthen the territory’s legal and regulatory regime, including on anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing.

The Financial Services Commission of the British Virgin Islands launched a consultation of the establishment of a registration and supervisory framework covering virtual assets as outlined under the draft Virtual Assets Service Providers Act, 2022.

News

Enforcement Actions

The Financial Services Commission of the British Virgin Islands issued a $30,000 administrative penalty against the Road Town-based entity for violating Section 31B of the Anti-Money Laundering Terrorist Financing Code of Practice, 2008.

The British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission issued a $20,000 administrative penalty against the Road Town-based corporate services provider for violating the Anti-Money Laundering Terrorist Financing Code of Practice, 2008.


Important Facts

  • The U.S. State Department labels the British Virgin Islands as a major money laundering jurisdiction. The economy of this UK overseas territory depends greatly on tourism and the offshore financial sector. As of June 2020, its commercial banking sector had assets valued at $2.28 billion. Exploitation of its offshore financial services and the unique share structure that does not require a statement of authorized capital pose significant money laundering risks to the jurisdiction. It is a favored destination for incorporating new companies and registering shell companies. Also, its proximity to the U.S. Virgin Islands and the use of the U.S. dollar for its currency add risks for money laundering. The British Virgin Islands is a major target for drug traffickers, who use the area as a gateway to the United States. Know your customer and suspicious transaction report requirements cover banks, money services businesses, insurance companies, investment businesses, insolvency practitioners, trust and company service providers, attorneys, notaries public, accountants, auditors, yacht and auto dealers, real estate agents, dealers in precious stones and metals, dealers in other high-value goods, and non-profit organizations. The British Virgin Islands applies enhanced due diligence procedures to politically exposed person.
-Source: 2021 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR)

Rankings

FATF i

Technical Effectiveness
Compliant : 18 High :
Largely Compliant : 15 Substantial :
Partially Compliant : 15 Moderate :
Non-Compliant : 1 Low :

BASEL i

Rank : N/A
Score : N/A

TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL i

Rank : N/A
Score : N/A

Tax Justice Network i

Rank : 9/133
Score : 71/100