Black Immigrant Daily News
Eleven days before international assessors are scheduled to arrive as part of a key anti-money-laundering evaluation, Premier Dr. Natalio “Sowande” Wheatley introduced amendments to 16 financial services laws last Thursday in the House of Assembly.
The HOA is scheduled to reconvene today to give second and third readings to the bills, which leaders said were recommended by the Financial Services Commission.
If passed, the laws could help the territory avoid international censure by achieving higher marks in the ongoing Fourth Round Caribbean Financial Action Task Force Mutual Evaluation. They are coming just in time.
As a key part of the evaluation, International Monetary Fund assessors are scheduled to arrive Monday and stay through March 31 to review the territory’s legislative framework and measures to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing, BVI Finance announced recently.
Though the premier did not explain the 16 bills when he introduced them last Thursday, the January Speech from the Throne noted his government’s goal to pass several of them before the arrival of the IMF assessors this month.
The ongoing Mutual Evaluation is based on the Financial Action Task Force’s International Standards on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation.
If the VI performs poorly, it could risk being put on a “grey list” of jurisdictions facing enhanced monitoring, potentially affecting the VI’s global reputation.
The CFATF, a group of 25 Caribbean jurisdictions, is responsible for regionally implementing standards set by the FATF.
The VI was deemed “largely compliant” during the Third Round Mutual Evaluation that it underwent in 2008.
In the Fourth Round evaluation, the VI is being assessed on expanded and updated criteria following delays due to Hurricane Irma, FSC officials have said.
6 BILLS, ONE DAY
The amendments introduced on Friday include the following.
BVI Business Companies (Amendment) Act 2023
Anti-money Laundering (Amendment) Regulations 2023
Partnership (Amendment) Act 2023
Proceeds of Criminal Conduct (Amendment) Act 2023
Securities and Investment Business (Amendment) Act 2023
Financing and Money Services (Amendment) Act 2023
Drug Trafficking Offences (Amendment) Act 2023
Company Management (Amendment) Act 2023
Banks and Trust Companies (Amendment) Act 2023
Insurance (Amendment) Act 2023
Financial Services Commission (Amendment) Act 2023
Limited Partnership (Amendment) Act 2023
Elections (Amendment) Act 2023
Counter Terrorism (Amendment) Act 2023
Criminal Justice International Cooperation (Amendment) Act 2023
Financial Investigation Agency (Amendment) Act 2023