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     Archived News and Events
         

14th April, 2009 - Public Notice Re: Millennium Bank Inc.

Notice is hereby given that by High Court Order dated 9th April 2009 the following persons have been appointed as Joint Provisional Liquidators of Millennium Bank Inc (the Bank) pursuant to Section 392 of the Companies Act, Act No 8 of 1994:

Mr. Charles Thresh
KPMG Advisory Ltd
Crown House
4-Par-L-Ville RD
HM 08 Hamilton
Bermuda

Email: cthresh@kpmg.bm

Mr. Kris Beighton
KPMG
P.O.Box 493 GT
Century Yard, Cricket Square
Grand Cayman, KY1-1106
Cayman Islands

Email: krisbeighton@kpmg.ky

Please be guided accordingly.
 

27th March, 2009 - Public Notice Re: Millennium Bank Inc.

The International Financial Service Authority (the Authority) in the exercise of its regulatory functions, at all times seeks to take all necessary action to monitor the international financial services sector’s adherence to the relevant governing legislation including requirements of the International Banks Act and Proceeds of Crime legislation . The Authority has appointed KPMG pursuant to Section 21(2)(e) of the International Banks Act 2004 to assume control over the licensee’s affairs to preserve records and assets.

The Authority is acting on information received from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which has issued a complaint against Millennium Bank and a number of non-Vincentian companies including United Trust of Switzerland S.A., UT of S, LLC, Millennium Financial Group, Sterling Administration, Sterling Investment Services and Millennium Aviation. Individuals also named in the complaint include William J. Wise, Kristi M. Hoegel and Kristi M. Christopher a/k/a Bessy Lu, Jacqueline S. Hoegel, a/k/a Jacquline S. Hoegel, a/k/a Jackie S. Hoegel, Philippe Angeloni and Brijesh Chopra.

 

2nd June, 2008 - IFSA Executive Director

The Board of Directors of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines International Financial Services Authority with the approval of Cabinet has appointed Mrs. Sharda Sinanan-Bollers as the Executive Director of IFSA effective 2nd June 2008.

 

1st February, 2008 - Appointment of Liquidator-PDP International Bank

The Board of Directors of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines International Financial Services Authority has approved the appointment of DeFreitas and Associates - Chartered Accountants & Consultants as Liquidator of PDP International Bank. The contact information for DeFreitas & Associates is as follows:-

DeFreitas & Associates
Chartered Accountants & Consultants
Griffith Corporate Centre, Suite 200
Murray's Road, Beachmont
P.O. Box 324, Kingstown
St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Tel: 784-451-2065 Fax: 784-457-2160
Email: info@defreitas-consulting.com or defreitas@vincysurf.com
Website: www.defreitas-consulting.com


3rd May, 2007
- Appointment of Liquidator - STB Swiss Trust Bank

The Board of Directors of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines International Financial Services Authority has approved the appointment of Trevor Edwards of the firm, Edwards and Duncan, P.O. Box 45, Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines as the liquidator of STB Swiss Trust Bank effective 3rd May 2007.

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27th December, 2006 - Swiss Trust Bank License revoked by IFSA

The International Financial Services Authority revoked the license of STB Swiss Trust Bank Ltd. (44 BK 2001) on the 27th December 2006. The bank now has to appoint a liquidator. Please be advised that this bank is no longer license to conduct any business.


6th July, 2006
- Amendments to UN (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Act and FIU Act

Please be informed that parliament has enacted (on 29th June, 2006) amendments to the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Act, 2002 and the Financial Intelligence Unit Act, 2001 to ensure compliance with recommendations made by the Financial Action Task Force and the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) which stipulated that financial institutions should be compelled to report all suspicious activity related to terrorism to the Financial Intelligence Unit.

A copy of the amendments, once assented to by the Governor-General, can be obtained at the Government Printing Office.


2nd March, 2006
- OECD Issues Disclaimer on 2000 Black List

In a move that is long overdue, the OECD has finally issued a disclaimer to the 2000 Progress Report, in a press release. In a press release they stated, “The [2000] report includes a list of tax havens… that list should be seen in its historical context”. This list was the infamous “black list” that cast a negative light on the financial systems of the countries listed, including St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The release further acknowledges that “more than five years have passed since the publication of the OECD list contained in the 2000 Report and positive changes have occurred in individual countries… the list has not been updated to reflect such changes.” In other words, the OECD is now saying that it is not safe to rely on that list in determining the reputability of a particular financial center.

Countries such as St. Vincent, together with their non-OECD sister states, have tirelessly lobbied the OECD for a removal of this harmful list. Finally our efforts have paid off in having the OECD publicly acknowledge that the list is flawed.

While the list was issued some 5 years ago, it has continued to have a negative impact on the image those countries ‘blacklisted’ long past its initial publication date. The placing of a disclaimer on this list is a welcomed response to the tremendous efforts and resources that St. Vincent and other non-OECD countries have put towards ensuring that their financial systems are regulated in accordance with best international practices.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is an active member in the dialogue with the OECD at the level of the OECD Global Forum, where OECD and non-OECD members meet to discuss moving towards a level playing field in transparency and information exchange.

The disclaimer can be found at www.oecd.org.
 

14th September, 2005 - Liquidation Information

IFSA has recently revoked the banking licenses of the international banks listed below. The Attorney General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has applied to and received an order from the High Court to have these banks wound up. Liquidators have been appointed and their contact information is also listed below. All depositors and other creditors should file their claims with the respective liquidators.

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Horizon Bank International Ltd.
License revoked April 4, 2005

Transglobal Bank ltd.
License revoked April 13, 2005


Liquidator:

Mr. Marcus Wide
Price Waterhouse Coopers
1809 Barrington Street, Suite 600
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canada B3J 3K8

e-mail: marcus.a.wide@ca.pwc.com

Attn: Mr. James Pomeroy
Tel: 902-491-7400/7416
Fax: 902-422-1166

www.pwc.com/brs-horizon/

 


Liquidator:

Mr. Marcus Wide
Price Waterhouse Coopers
1809 Barrington Street, Suite 600
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canada B3J 3K8

e-mail: marcus.a.wide@ca.pwc.com

Tel: 902-491-7400
Fax: 902-422-1166

Triton Capital Bank Ltd.
License revoked April 13, 2005


Liquidators:

Messrs. Malcolm Butterfield, Simon Wicker
& Brian Glasgow
KPMG
The Financial Services Centre
Kingstown Park, P.O. Box 561
St. Vincent & the Grenadines
Tel: 784-456-2669/1644
Fax: 784-456-1576

e-mail: kpmgsvg@caribsurf.com


or contact:

Mr. Jess Shakespeare
Senior Manager, Corporate Recovery
P.O. Box 493 GT
Century Yard Building
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Tel: 345-914-4405
Fax: 345-949-7164

e-mail: jessshakespeare@kpmg.ky
 

10th August, 2005 - Discontinuation of Eastern Caribbean Central Bank’s involvement in the
regulation/supervision of banks licensed under the International
Banks Act

Due to a decision made by the Monetary Council, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has given notice to terminate its involvement in the regulation/supervision of the International Banking sector in St Vincent and the Grenadines . Notice date May 24th 2005.

ECCB’s termination will be conducted in three (3) phases:

(i) Upon amendment of the International Banks Act or within six (6) months of the notice date, whichever is later, the ECCB will discontinue its participation in onsite examinations of banks licensed under the International Banks Act.


(ii) Upon amendment of the International Banks Act or within twelve (12) months of the notice date, whichever is later, the ECCB will cease to provide recommendations on the approval of shareholders, directors and senior officers.

(iii) Upon amendment of the International Banks Act or within eighteen (18) months of the notice date, whichever is later, the ECCB will cease to provide recommendations on the licensing of banks licensed under the International Banks Act.
 

The decision for the ECCB to discontinue its services as mentioned above is applicable to all the islands in the EC dollar region, except in the case of International Bank affiliates of institutions licensed under the regional “Banking Act”.

The ECCB will continue to provide assistance with capacity building/training to IFSA, and with conducting due diligence checks on prospective entrants applying for licences under the International Banks Act.


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15th June, 2005 - Louise Mitchell's presentation to Euromoney Annual Offshore Seminar, UK

Ms. Louise Mitchell, IFSA's Executive Director, presented a paper at the Euromoney Annual Offshore Seminar in London, UK on May 18, 2005. Her paper was entitled 'Reviewing the OECD Harmful Tax Initiative'.

View presentation: Reviewing the OECD Harmful Tax Initiative (PDF 40KB)


 

18th April, 2005 - IFSA Revokes Bank Licenses

The International Financial Services Authority has recently revoked the licences for the following Class I banks:

Horizon International Bank Limited, on April 4, 2005
Transglobal Bank Limited, on April 13, 2005
Triton Capital Bank Limited, on April 13, 2005

The IFSA has requested that the Attorney General apply to the Court to have these banks wound up and liquidators appointed within the next few days. Persons who are creditors of such banks will be required to lodge their claims with the relevant liquidators.

In addition, Amco Bank has surrendered its banking licence and has gone into voluntary liquidation.

After the delisting of St. Vincent and the Grenadines from the FATF list of Non-cooperating countries, the Authority continues to show a low tolerance towards financial institutions that are not in compliance with laws and regulations. As regulators, we expect that the institutions conducting business in this jurisdiction have a strong physical presence, to be compliant with the laws and regulations of the jurisdiction and abide by prudential banking practices.


23rd March, 2005
- ITIO Barbados Meeting Reviews IOSCO and FSF Initiatives

St. Vincent and the Grenadines, represented by "Ms. Louise Mitchell presented a paper at the Euromoney Annual Offshore Seminar in London, UK on May 18, 2005. Her paper was entitled 'Reviewing the OECD Harmful Tax Initiative'. Attached is a copy of her presentation". attended an The International Trade and Investment Organisation (ITIO) in Barbados on March March 17-18, 2005. The Barbados meeting formally established its Secretariat’s headquarters in Barbados and appointed as its Executive Director Ms Francoise Hendy.

The meeting expressed concern with the International Organisation of Securities Commissioners’ (IOSCO) endorsement of the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) past work that led to the labelling of a number of countries as non-cooperative. This support appeared in IOSCO’s February 2005 report, ‘Strengthening Capital Markets Against Financial Fraud’, and is of concern in the light of what is now known and accepted about the unfairness of the earlier FATF process. Once again there is disproportionate focus on the international financial centres (OFC) reminiscent of the spate of blacklistings in 2000. This is despite the acknowledged improvements by OFCs, which in many cases have better regulatory frameworks than onshore jurisdictions.

The meeting also noted that in tandem with this development the Financial Stability Forum (FSF) announced on 11 March, 2005 its intention to use the same discriminatory processes to advance the initiatives of FSF members, including the OECD, the IAIS, and IOSCO. The FSF is proposing to rely on reports by the IMF, IOSCO as well as other unidentified ‘bodies’ and complaints by its member national authorities when taking action against an OFC. The FSF proposes to use varying bullying tactics including publishing the names of what it perceives as non-cooperative OFCs. Once again the focus and negative presumptions are on the OFCs being potentially problematic, without any corresponding consideration of, or process for dealing with, violations by its own members.

According to ITIO Chair, Ms Deborah Drummond of the Cayman Islands “the principles of fairness, transparency and non-discrimination that should characterise a level playing field continue to be absent from the processes that are proposed by the IOSCO and the FSF initiatives.”

The ITIO also examined the implications of these new developments for the progress achieved thus far at the OECD Global Forum level.

According to Ms Mitchell, St. Vincent and the Grenadines welcomes the establishment of the ITIO Secretariat in Barbados and anticipates that the ITIO will play an enhanced role in achieving fairness, transparency and non-discrimination in the setting of global standards now that it has a dedicated Secretariat.

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21st January, 2005 - IFSA New Simplified Fee Structure

On December 28, 2004, St. Vincent and the Grenadines implemented some of the lowest, most competitive international financial services fees in the Caribbean region and a much simplified fee structure. Our new fees came about after the industry’s regulator, the International Financial Services Authority conducted several rounds of consultations with industry service providers and other stakeholders. When you team our low fees with our low cost of living and operational costs, SVG becomes one of the most cost effective jurisdictions for doing business.

To view the new fee structure please browse our Fees page.
 

10th November, 2004 - Opening the International Financial Industry to Foreign Registered Agents

In March 2004, the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines amended the Registered Agent and Trustee Licensing Act, 1996 to permit foreign nationals to become Registered Agents and Trustees. In order for foreign nationals to do so, they will first have to form a local company and should contact a local Attorney to assist them with this process.

As part of this new move, we have added the Registered Agent and Trustee Licensing Act, 1996 with its Amendments as well as its Statutory Rules and Orders to our website. This can be found under the section ‘Laws and Regulations’. In early 2005, we will also be adding the Companies Act, 1994 which covers the formation of local companies.
 

10th November, 2004 - Mutual Fund Application And Bank Application Checklists

There has been an increased demand for our mutual fund licenses and bank licenses. In order to facilitate the application process and give some insight into the qualifications the Authority looks for in applicants, we have added checklists to our website. If all items on the respective checklists are submitted, then it will greatly assist us when processing applications. Turnaround time improves when there is little need to request additional information.

Both checklists can be found under the section ‘Laws and Regulations’.

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12th October, 2004 - Caribbean Financial Action Task Force Plenary- Panama Oct. 4-8, 2004

A meeting of the CFATF Plenary took place in Panama (Oct 4-8th), where the CFATF Mutual Evaluation Report, an evaluation of the anti money laundering/counter terrorist financing regime of SVG was presented. Our Caribbean peers conducted this examination in September 2003. There to respond to the Report were: Ms Louise Mitchell, Executive Director of IFSA, Mrs Sharda Bollers, Director of the FIU and Grenville John, Comptroller of Customs. Also in attendance was Mr Claude Samuel, IFSA’s new Chairman. The National Anti Money Laundering Committee took the decision to send the Comptroller of Customs in person to respond to the Report, given that the major weakness identified by the Report was the Customs Department relating to lack of proper anti money laundering procedures and awareness.

With the exception of the Customs Department the Report was on the whole extremely positive. The Report asserted that the “law enforcement agencies on the front line in the fight against money laundering are doing a commendable job,” citing the FIU’s exemplary performance along with IFSA. The Report also pointed to a strong ‘political will’ to support the anti money laundering framework.

The presentation to the Plenary by the SVG delegation was so thorough that it left virtually no questions by the Plenary, and one complimentary comment submitted by the USA
. The Plenary was assured by the Comptroller of Customs that steps are being taken to remedy the deficiencies highlighted in the Report, including the implementation of an intensive training program.

The USA delegate, Ms Nan Donnells who is also a member of the FATF Americas Review Group, made the following statement at the Plenary:

“SVG has given SWIFT, OUTSTANDING assistance, including in the restraining of significant assets, which led to the forfeiture of these assets. The USA ’s intention is to share these assets with SVG. The USA can state that there are no impediments to cooperation with SVG. Clearly the FIU is functioning very effectively.”

The Ministerial Meeting followed the Plenary, where the Attorney General, Hon Mrs Judith Jones Morgan was represented by Ms Louise Mitchell. The Ministerial meeting saw the handover of the Chairmanship of the CFATF from Antigua and Barbuda , to Panama , and the appointment of Jamaica as Deputy Chair.

The FATF reported its decision to invite the CFATF and other such bodies to hold meetings with the FATF prior to the FATF plenary. This development was in response to a call made by SVG at the 2003 Plenary for the CFATF to have a greater role in the FATF decision-making process. SVG also secured a commitment from the CFATF at this Ministerial to not circulate CFATF reports prior to them being finalised, without the consent of the examined country. SVG argued successfully for the right of the country to review the report for its accuracy before the report is circulated.

The SVG delegate also secured a commitment from the CFATF to allow the country being evaluated the right to be consulted and to agree to which bodies shall conduct the examination of its anti money laundering/counter terrorist financing regime.

The Ministerial agreed to the World Bank and the IMF having a greater role in the conducting of assessments of CFATF countries. Also, the IMF/World Bank anti money laundering methodology was adopted.

The CFATF is a grouping of all Caribbean and Central American Countries and Venezuela . Its observers are the IMF, the World Bank, the FATF, the OAS and others.

Prepared by Louise Mitchell, Executive Director IFSA
October 12, 2004

 

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16th June, 2004 - Government of SVG on the OECD Global Forum in Berlin June 3-4, 2004

The events of the OECD Global Forum in Berlin , attended by 42 countries, demonstrate that the OECD has undergone major transformations since it issued the damaging black list in 2000 of ‘harmful tax havens.’ The OECD has been led to abandon its top down ‘name and shame’ approach and is now relying heavily on non-OECD members to push its initiative on the sharing of tax information forward.

At the Berlin
meeting two proposals presented by the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines were accepted and adopted by the OECD.

The first was the proposal to postpone the discussion on the imposition of sanctions on countries that fail to comply with the OECD initiative. SVG proposed that given the fact that there are many unresolved issues on the table, such as the issue of a level playing field, that it was premature to address the issue of ‘defensive measures.’ It is the imposition of such sanctions that would give real weight to the OECD initiative, which for the time being has been put on hold.

The second proposal was that the OECD should not dictate that countries ‘should’ take measures TO create a level playing field by the year 2006. It was presented that while the OECD and non-OECD members pursue benchmarking exercises to determine the status of the playing field, that the date of 2006 should be removed. The date of 2006 was the date that countries like SVG originally agreed to in the famous ‘commitment letters’ for the sharing of civil tax information. The compromise reached was the removal of the date of 2006 and the changing of the language from ‘should’ to ‘are encouraged’. The removal of the date by the OECD now leaves open and indefinite the timeframe for the original commitments.

In response to the OECD’s continued efforts to ‘encourage’ countries to move ahead in the sharing of tax information, St. Vincent and the Grenadines reiterated its position that it will not seek to actively implement its commitment to the sharing of tax information, while the issues of the level playing field remain unresolved. St. Vincent and the Grenadines indicated that it would not volunteer to be ‘the first off the block’ to institute measures that could put SVG at a competitive disadvantage while countries like Switzerland resist such initiatives.

The OECD has conceded both the date as well as the treatment of the imposition of sanctions because they in short have not been able to get compliance of their own member states. The famous EU Savings Tax Directive, which would allow for the sharing of information among EU states continues to be resisted by countries such as Switzerland , Luxembourg , Liechtenstein and Austria and the USA . The EU is having difficultly implementing even the watered down ‘compromise’ Directive. As such, OECD members willingly agreed to postpone OECD deadlines as they have not been able to resolve these issues in their home countries.

Another proposal made by several non-OECD states including SVG that was formally adopted in Berlin is that the OECD initiative must be widened to include significant financial centers that to date have been excluded from the process. The list of such countries are Andorra, Barbados, Brunei, Costa Rica, Dubai, Guatemala, Hong Kong-China, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Macao-China, Malaysia (Labuan), Marshall Islands, Monaco, Philippines, Singapore, Uruguay. The Berlin meeting agreed to actively seek to engage such countries at the level of the Global Forum in the OECD initiative.

The Government of SVG also appealed to the OECD Global Forum to retool its process to ensure that mutual benefits are derived from countries sharing tax information. The new developments at the OECD suggest the OECD member states are beginning to recognize that the unilateral sharing of tax information, without any reciprocal advantages is indeed unfair.

The USA position taken in Berlin was that the OECD cannot dictate the tax policies of states. This position is a great departure from the original position taken by the OECD back in 1998. The OECD initiative is now restricted to encouraging the sharing of tax information and transparency.

Louise Mitchell
Executive Director (Ag) IFSA
SVG Representative at OECD meeting Berlin
 

24th May, 2004 - New online registration system for international Companies

On Friday May 21, 2004 some 13 companies represented by 17 persons attended a training session conducted by Ron Slocum of Global Isle Ltd. on the electronic incorporation of international business companies (IBCs) and other uses of the online registry offered by IFSA to the service providers. On Saturday May 22, 2004 IFSA employees had a similar training session conducted by Mr Slocum, who traveled from California to conduct the training.

The new system of online incorporation of companies, which is active as of Monday May 24, 2004 allows international agents to instantaneously register a company online. While in the past IFSA promised that within one day agents could file documents and receive company certificates, IFSA now commits to ensuring that within three hours maximum of the filing of a document online, company documents will be available for collection. This fast turn around time will make the jurisdiction much more marketable. Only licensed agents have access to the online system through secure passwords.

The online registry system also allows agents to pay their annual fees online, to reserve company names as well as conduct searches of company files, including those registered by other agents.

All of the remote services that will now be provided online may be paid for in advance through an automated pre-payment system. Agents will for example, based on projected incorporations make a pre-payment on their account, and the value of transactions will be automatically be deducted as the services are used.

The electronic incorporation of companies is one of the many services that will become available online. Soon international banks will be required to file their quarterly returns online. The use of electronic filing is part of the commitment of the Authority to ensure increased efficiency in the international finance sector.

Louise Mitchell
Acting Executive Director
INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES AUTHORITY


13th November, 2003
- International Business Companies (Amendment) Regulations 2003

By virtue of the International Business Companies (Amendment) Regulations, 2003 – S.R.O. No. 31 of 2003, the International Business Companies regulations referred to as the “principal regulations” are amended in regulation (16) by deleting the words “without charge”.

Inserting items 12 - 27 amends the first schedule to the principal regulations.

The new regulation, gazetted on 19th August 2003 us hereby posted on our website for information and advise and can be purchased from the Government Printer at a cost of EC $1.60.

Download/view:

International Business Companies Amendment Regulations 2003 (7KB)

If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your PC, please click on the Adobe Acrobat Reader Image to download and install this software.
 


 

12th November, 2003 - Mustique Launching of IFSA

Regulators and practitioners in the financial services industry gathered together on the prestigious island of Mustique on October 29, 2003 to launch the changing of the name of the Offshore Finance Authority to the International Financial Services Authority (IFSA) and to explore the new financial environment in St. Vincent and the Grenadines . The Seminar was hosted by the Mustique Company and IFSA.

Bryan Jeeves of St. Vincent Trust Services, one of the most long standing players in the industry; Isaac Legair, President of the Registered Agents Association; and Nigel Bailey, an insurance practitioner from the BVI also addressed the gathering. Bryan Alexander, Managing Director of the Mustique Company spoke about the genesis and uniqueness of the Mustique Company development.

Presentations were made by the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Dr the Hon Ralph E Gonsalves, Deputy Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Mr Errol Allen, Manager of the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange, Baljit Vohra, John Clark, Chairman of the Mustique Company and Former President of the Toronto Stock Exchange and others. The Seminar explored topics ranging from investment opportunities in the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange to an analysis of the Mustique Project as an SVG Private Investment Success with successive Government support.

Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Dr. Ralph E Gonsalves

There were over 60 participants including top representatives from domestic banks, including First Caribbean and RBTT, Savings and Loan financial institutions, private international banks, building societies, lawyers and other financial service providers.

Speaking on the new name of the Authority, Deputy Governor Errol Allen said:

“The change of name to International Financial Services Authority must however be seen in its proper context. If an organization is to meet the challenges of a changing world, it must be prepared if necessary to change everything about itself, except its beliefs, as it moves through corporate life. The only sacred part in an organization should be its basic philosophy of doing business. It therefore follows that our organization can change its operating practices and business strategies constantly, in response to a changing world.”  

On the new financial environment Acting Offshore Finance Inspector Louise Mitchell stated “We have an industry to build. Much groundwork has been done. We are not starting from scratch. In fact we have a very solid foundation, but we have new [regulatory] rules in the game. The application of these new rules will require much effort and commitment on behalf both of the regulator and the regulated.”

Speakers (L to R) Brian Alexander, Nigel Bailey, Baljit Vohra,
Errol Allen, Rudy Matthias, John Clark, Louise Mitchell, Isaac Legair

Speaking about the Mustique project, John C Clark, Former President of the Toronto Stock Exchange, said “if I were to say that there is one thing that all homeowners in Mustique have in common is the belief in the inevitability of success”. There are no failures, just deferrals of success.”

Dr. Frederick Ballantyne (Governor General) and
Lavinia Gunn (Manager HR Mustique Company)

Attendees

Speaking about the Mustique project, John C Clark, Former President of the Toronto Stock Exchange, said “if I were to say that there is one thing that all homeowners in Mustique have in common is the belief in the inevitability of success”. There are no failures, just deferrals of success.”

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20th October, 2003 - OECD Admits to un-level playing field

On 14-15 October, Canada hosted a meeting of the OECD Global Forum on Taxation. The meeting brought together representatives of 40 OECD and non-OECD governments that are committed to the principles of transparency and effective exchange of information for tax purposes.

The meeting was convened at the request of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and other proactive non-OECD member states such as Panama, Cayman Islands and Antigua and Barbuda, who asked that a special meeting be held on the single issue of the level playing field.

When St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and many other non-OECD member states signed commitment letters in 2002 agreeing to the sharing of tax information by certain deadlines, they did so on the condition that there must be established a level playing field.

In June 2003, an agreement on an EU Tax Directive exempting Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg and Belgium from sharing information on savings income tax with foreign tax collectors, and giving them extended deadlines for compliance, effectively violated the principle of the level playing field.

In Ottawa, the OECD admitted that the level playing field did not exist, and does not exist. They indicated that they would like it to exist and called upon non-OECD member states to assist them in pushing the process forward.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines submitted that while the condition precedent of its commitment to the exchange of information and transparency does not exist, it cannot be expected to act on its commitment; in effect its commitment is in abeyance until a global level playing field is achieved. St. Vincent and the Grenadines agreed to assist the OECD in moving the process forward, but stated that it would not do so at its own competitive disadvantage.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines, represented by Ms Louise Mitchell, Acting Offshore Finance Inspector, also called on the OECD to abandon once and for all the idea of ‘naming and shaming’ jurisdictions. The OECD was also asked by St. Vincent and the Grenadines to address the fact that countries like Hong Kong and Singapore remain outside of the OECD initiative.


30th September, 2003
- Launch of the International Financial Services Authority (IFSA)

On October 29, 2003 the Offshore Finance Authority will launch its new name – the International Financial Services Authority - with a one-day seminar at the Cotton House, Mustique. The seminar is kindly co-sponsored by the Mustique Company. With speakers ranging from Caribbean diplomat and Deputy Chair of the CFATF Sir Ronald Sanders to the Manager of the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange, Baljit Vohra, the seminar will examine the new financial environment in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the region.

Participants are asked to register early, as limited places are available. See below for further details.

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Launch of the International Financial Services Authority (IFSA): Exploring the New Financial Environment
October 29, 2003, Cotton House, Mustique

9:30 am

Introduction to the Seminar
Deputy Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Errol Allen

9:40 am

Welcome Address by the Rt Hon. Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
Dr. the Hon. Ralph E Gonsalves

10:00 am

The Challenge of Small Offshore Jurisdictions in International Finance
Sir Ronald Sanders – Chief Foreign Affairs Representative with Ministerial Rank, Antigua and Barbuda/ Deputy CFATF Chair

10:30 am

The Mustique Project as an Investment Success
John C Clark, Chairman of the Mustique Company and,
Brian Alexander, Managing Director, Mustique Company

11:00 am

COFFEE BREAK

11:30 am

The Changing Dynamics of the International Finance Industry: Focus on Market Demand and Expectations
Bryan Jeeves, President of St. Vincent Trust Services

12:15 pm

LUNCH

1:30 pm

The International Insurance Sector, the BVI Experience
Nigel J Bailey, International Captive Consultants Ltd.

2:00 pm

Opportunities for Developing the Mutual Funds Business in SVG
Isaac Legair, President of the Registered Agents Association

2:30 pm

COFFEE BREAK

3:00 pm

Opportunities for Investment Provided by the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange
Baljit Vohra, Manager of the ECSE

3:00 pm

Open discussion with panel consisting of all speakers and presenters as well as special invited guests
Moderator: Dr. Rudy Matthias, Consultant to the Ministry of Finance

4:00 pm

Closing remarks by Louise Mitchell, Offshore Finance Inspector (Ag)

REGISTRATION

The cost of attending the seminar is EC$250. This cost covers lunch and coffee breaks at the Cotton House as well as seminar documentation.

Please complete the following form and send it together with a cheque payable to the Accountant General for EC$250.00 to the Offshore Finance Authority. Limited places are available. Early booking is recommended. Bookings will be confirmed upon receipt of payment.

The Authority will facilitate transportation arrangements by boat, please contact Manager- Administration, Mrs. Anetha Bonadie for further details:

Tel: (784) 456-2577 or by Fax: (784) 457- 2568
Email:ofsh.fin@caribsurf.com or louise@vincysurf.com

Please review the full documentation (PDF format 18KB) on the launching of the IFSA including information on speakers scheduled to attend.

If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your PC, please click on the Adobe Acrobat Reader Image to download and install this software.


26th August, 2003
-
Amendment to the Guidance Notes

 The National Anti Money Laundering Committee asks Financial Institutions to pay attention to the fact that the Guidance Notes have been amended to include treatment of the following:

·         politically exposed persons (Guidance Note 168);

·         correspondent banking (Guidance Note 124A); and

·         non face-to-face customers (Guidance Note 44)  

Financial institutions are required to familiarize themselves with the new provisions referred to above and to take steps to immediately apply such measures where relevant.

A copy of the amended Guidance Notes is posted on the Laws and Regulations page.

Message from the Chairman of the NAMLC.

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20th June, 2003 - St. Vincent and the Grenadines given clean bill of health by the FATF

At the plenary meeting in Berlin this week, the FATF took the decision to remove St. Vincent and the Grenadines from the list of Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories, the so-called ‘black list’. This removal of St. Vincent and the Grenadines comes as a result of the FATF’s recognition of the enactment of reforms to the anti money laundering regime, and on-going efforts to implement these reforms in the country.

The FATF have asked the Government in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to continue to pay special attention to the monitoring of its offshore banking sector. While this Eastern Caribbean island state is primarily known as an IBC jurisdiction, it also has a substantive offshore banking sector.

The FATF Implementation Progress Report on St. Vincent and the Grenadines was very complimentary of the “substantial” amount of training provided to financial institutions with respect to anti money laundering requirements. It said “the institutions appear to be fully informed and aware of their obligations.” It also states “Relationships between and among the Offshore Financial Authority, the Financial Intelligence Unit, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, other financial regulators, police, other governmental entities, as well as the private financial services sector, appears to be excellent and working well.”

The report also had high praise for the Financial Intelligence Unit, saying “cooperation provided by the FIU has been excellent.” Of the FIU it also said that it is “fully operational, active and effective.” The FIU has been endorsed for membership into the Egmont Group.

“St. Vincent and the Grenadines is now poised to take the international financial services sector into a new era, now that we have been given a clean bill of health by the FATF”, said Prime Minister Dr the Hon. Ralph E. Gonsalves. “While we will continue to rigorously enforce our anti money laundering regime, we will also now pay more attention to ensuring that this sector continues to contribute to the development of the national economy,” he said.

Speaking on the FATF Report and Plenary decision to de-list St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Offshore Finance Inspector Ms Louise Mitchell stated “the decision is of course long overdue, however it is good to finally have our efforts recognized by the FATF. When the FATF Americas Review Group team finally made it here, they were very impressed with what they found. In particular they applauded the high level of anti money laundering compliance of the private sector, which is in part a reflection of the excellent training conducted by the Government agencies and speaks to the excellent relationship in this country between the Government and the private sector.”
 

20th May, 2003 - FATF Delegation to Visit St. Vincent and the Grenadines

St. Vincent and the Grenadines stands ready to welcome a delegation comprised of members of the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF’s) Americas Review Group to conduct an on-site visit to St. Vincent and the Grenadines on May 28-29, 2003 . The Americas Review Group will review implementation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ anti-money laundering reforms.

The FATF delegation will be headed by Daniel Glaser, Chair of the Americas Review Group and Executive Director of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes (US Department of the Treasury). Other members of the delegation will include: Mr. Laurent Alegret, Adjoint de Chef de Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry, France; Mr. Richard Chalmers, Advisor on Offshore Financial Centres, Financial Services Authority, United Kingdom; Ms. Nan Donnells, Financial Crimes Policy Advisor, Department of the Treasury, United States; Ms. Rachel Grasham, Senior Project Leader, Department of Finance, Canada; Ms. Susan Smith, Senior Trial Attorney, Department of Justice, United States; Mr. Stanislaus Valerga, Treasury Liaison to the Caribbean, Department of the Treasury, United States; and Mr. Calvin Wilson, Executive Director, Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF).

St. Vincent and the Grenadines was first placed on the list of Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories (NCCT) in June 2000. In the past two years the Government has worked tirelessly to introduce reforms in order to comply with the 40 anti money laundering recommendations of the FATF. The government has attended many face-to-face meetings with the Americas Review Group and was invited to submit an implementation plan, exhibiting how the anti money laundering regime is being executed in St. Vincent and the Grenadines . The FATF, having determined that the Implementation Plan was satisfactory, have agreed to conduct this on-site visit of the financial sector in St. Vincent and the Grenadines .

Based on their findings during this two day inspection, the Americas Review Group will make a recommendation to the larger FATF Plenary on June 18, 2003 as to whether St. Vincent and the Grenadines should be taken off the NCCT list, or the so called ‘blacklist.’

While in the country the Review Group will meet with key Government regulatory and law enforcement agencies. These include the Hon. Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Commissioner of Police, as well as the Offshore Finance Authority, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the National Anti Money Laundering Committee. The Group will also meet with members of the private sector, including domestic and offshore banks, registered agents and trustees and members of the non-banking financial community. They will also conduct an on-site visit to one offshore bank.

The Government anticipates frank and open discussions with the Americas Review Group and is confident that the Group will be satisfied with the anti money laundering, counter terrorist financing regime that is now firmly rooted in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
 

9th April, 2003 - Amendment to Guidance Notes

Financial institutions are asked to note that the Guidance Notes have been amended to further restrict the application of exemptions to the customer identification/verification requirements of the Proceeds of Crime Money Laundering Regulations 2002. There are now only seven financial institutions that are eligible for exemptions. They are:

          (1) domestic banks

          (2) international banks

          (3) building societies

          (4) domestic insurance companies

          (5) international insurance companies

          (6) registered agents and trustees

          (7) mutual funds

Also it is now required that the financial institution that enters into a customer relationship relying on the due diligence of a third party, obtain written assurance from that party that identification data will be made available from the third party immediately upon request.

A copy of the amended Guidance Notes is posted on this site under laws and regulations. We ask that all financial institutions familiarize themselves with the new changes.

ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL ANTI MONEY LAUNDERING COMMITTEE - APRIL 8, 2003

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27th - 28th March, 2003
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Judicial / Legal Training Seminar

A two day Judicial/Legal Training Seminar was conducted at Sunset Shores Hotel by Mr Fitroy Drayton and Nyron Davidson of CALP as well as a consultant to CALP, head of Furnival Law Chambers, London Mr Andrew Mitchell QC. The Seminar was hosted by the NAMLC, the FIU and CALP.

On March 27 and also for the morning of March 28, 2003 all Crown and Police Prosecutors attended the Seminar, including the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions, Crown Counsel II and Crown Counsel I. Some 12 police prosecutors, all officers (customs and police) of the FIU, the Director of the FIU and five members of the OFA staff also attended.

On the afternoon of March 28, the two resident judges, Justice Frederick Bruce Lyle and Justice Brian Alleyne and the Chief Magistrate Simone Churman attended.

The program was as follows:

Day One
9:00 Opening Address: Hon. Judith Jones Morgan, Attorney General
9:25 Money Laundering Overview, Fitzroy Drayton
10:45 Constitutional and Human Rights Issues, Andrew Mitchell, QC
11:30 Money Laundering Typologies, Nyron Davidson
1:30 Prosecuting Money Laundering, Andrew Mitchell, QC
2:30 Terrorist Financing, Fitzroy Drayton
3:00 Financial Investigation Tools: Production, Monitoring/Restraint &Confiscation Orders,
Andrew Mitchell QC
4:45 Practical Exercise Introduction

The attendance at the seminar to give the Opening Address of the Hon. Attorney General is testimony to the priority that the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines affords to AML/CFT compliance. A copy of the Hon. Attorney General’s presentation is posted on the publications section.

Day Two
9:00 –12:30 Practical Exercise
1:30 Overview of Legislation, Fitzroy Drayton
2:00 Constitutional and Human Rights Issues, Fitzroy Drayton
2:30 Money Laundering Prosecutions, Production Orders, Restraint Orders,
Confiscation Orders, Calculating Benefit, Receivership Order – Andrew Mitchell, QC
5:00 Close

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Download / View:

Attorney General's Speech - Anti-Money Laundering Training Seminar for Prosecutors, Public Legal Sector, Judges, Magistrates and Registries (28KB) PDF

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15th January, 2003 - CFATF makes proposal to IMF/World Bank

The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) met during the week of the 13th January, 2003, in Barbados. The focus was to formulate a position on a report by the IMF/World Bank which contained new criteria for a global assessment methodology designed to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The CFATF issued the following communiqué after the meeting:

The members of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) reaffirm their commitment to the global struggle against money laundering and the financing of terrorism and strongly recommend utilizing the United Nations framework, based on collaboration and open participation, to work towards a Global Convention on Money Laundering.

The CFATF notes that prior to its adoption by the IMF Board on 15th November 2002
, three successive versions of the Anti-money laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism Methodology were used by the IMF/WORLD BANK with the concurrence of their Boards during Financial Sector Assessment Programmes and Offshore Financial Centre Assessments of CFATF Member States.

At this stage, the CFATF has not endorsed the AML/CFT Methodology for the 12 month IMF/WB Pilot Project ending in November 2003 but it acknowledges that the Methodology will continue to be used in assessments of its Member States as part of the Pilot Project.

In response to the CFATF’s desire for meaningful consultation, the representatives of the IMF/WORLD BANK have indicated that they will refer to their management and boards the CFATF’s proposal for collaboration with the Working Group established by CFATF and comprising policy and technical personnel.

The focus of the Working Group will be to:

(1) Review the process and outcome of the twelve (12) month Pilot Project as well as the details of its successor framework.

(2) Review the substance of the criteria in the Methodology Document which is premised on the fact that Money Laundering/Financing of Terrorism are risks to the global financial system. In this connection, the CFATF Secretariat will conduct a study that compares the incidence of money laundering and terrorist financing activity in CFATF Member States with the prevalence of such activity in developed countries to determine whether there is a real risk of CFATF Member States undermining the global financial system.

(3) Review the membership of the IMF/World Bank Assessment Teams and ensure that the Assessors are experienced in Money Laundering, Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement matters and include experts drawn from the Region.

(4) Address the approach adopted in the Methodology and its application to ensure its fairness and relevance to the circumstances of Member States and the disproportionate burdens which are placed on the human and financial resources of the CFATF Member States by the many assessments to which they must respond.

The CFATF has announced that the members of the Working Group are The Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Guatemala and Haiti, and will be assisted by the CARICOM Secretariat.

The CFATF responded positively to the suggestion by Canada that the CFATF continues to participate in the FATF Review Group of the FATF 40 Recommendations.

The meeting also recommended that letter should be written by the Ministers of Finance of Member States to the President of the World Bank and the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and the Executive Directors representing CFATF Member States expressing concern of each country about their desire for a meaningful consultative process in respect of the AML/CFT Methodology.


1st November, 2002
-
Press Release on the OECD Cayman Meeting on Accounts

On October 26 to November 1, the OECD Global Forum was convened in the Cayman Islands to discuss the issues of a level playing field as well as to discuss accounts standards.

Download / View Press Release:

OECD Cayman Meeting on Accounts (15KB) PDF

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1st November, 2002 - OECD Press Release
OECD Global Forum Meeting of the Joint Ad Hoc Group on Accounts 

28 October-1 November 2002, Cayman Islands

This week the Government of the Cayman Islands hosted a meeting of the OECD Global Forum on Taxation. The Honourable McKeeva Bush, Leader of Government Business of the Cayman Islands, and Mr Seiichi Kondo, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD, opened the meeting.

The meeting brought about an enhanced sense of inclusive partnership amongst OECD and non-OECD countries and territories, working together to achieve common standards for transparency and effective exchange of information for tax purposes. The delegates of the participating partners confirmed the common aim of fostering a transparent and well-regulated global financial system based on common standards, which seeks the participation of all OECD Member countries and non-OECD countries and territories that offer themselves as responsible jurisdictions in a global economy. It was agreed that it is valuable to examine current and developing standards and practices in all countries and territories in taking this work forward to achieve a level playing field.

Delegations from the following participating partners attended the meeting: Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, The Bahamas, the Kingdom of Bahrain, Belize, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Canada, the Cayman Islands, the Cook Islands, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Ireland, Isle of Man, Japan, Jersey, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles, Panama, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, the Seychelles, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The meeting has committed to examine the next steps to further the group's work. These include a recognition of the importance of all international bodies working in this area to co-operate with a view towards harnessing sometimes scarce resources within participating countries and territories, consistent with creating efficient and realistic compliance norms.

The participants expressed their gratitude to the Government of the Cayman Islands for hosting the meeting.

Download the Opening Statements:

Opening Statement by Hon. McKeeva Bush, Leader of Government Business, Cayman Islands(10KB) PDF

Opening Statement by Seiichi Kondo, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD(11KB) PDF

Opening Statement by the Chairman of the OECD Committee on Fiscal Affairs(17KB) PDF

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2nd October, 2002 - OECD Accounting Principles

This is a reminder to all registered agents that the deadline for the submission of comments on the OECD accounting draft paper is October 4, 2002. This paper has been circulated to all registered agents. Agents who submit comments prior to Friday October 4, 2002 will be invited to attend a special session of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines OECD Working Group on October 7, 2002. A link to the draft statement is located below.

Please do not hesitate to contact Louise Mitchell, Assistant Offshore Finance Inspector, if you have any queries or wish to make a contribution to this important topic.

OECD Accounts (40KB) PDF

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17th May, 2002 - New Amendments

Parliament on May 13, 2002 approved certain amendments to certain laws governing the offshore financial services sector as well as the anti money laundering framework. Essentially the amendment to the International Business Companies Act provides for the registration of bearer shares. The amendment to the International Trusts Act ensures that registered trustees must retain information on the beneficiaries of the trusts. The other two amendments - one to the Financial Intelligence Unit Act and the other to the Proceeds of Crime Money Laundering Prevention Act - strengthen the anti money laundering framework in response to specific recommendations of the FATF.

See relevant Amendments:
 

International Business Companies Amendment Act 2002 (11KB) PDF

Financial Intelligence Unit Amendment Act 2002 (7KB) PDF

Amendments to the Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering Act 2002 (7KB) PDF

International Trust Amendments Act 2002 (14KB) PDF

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7th May, 2002 - New Fees

Registered Agents and Trustees are asked to note that there have been certain amendments to the International Banks Regulations and the International Trusts Regulations, which create a new fee structure. Please consult the Regulations below. Importantly, international banks will now bear the cost of due diligence checks.

New Regulations/Fees:

International Banks Amendment Regulations 2002 (6KB) PDF

International Trust Amendment Regulations 2002 (9KB) PDF

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16th May, 2002 - Select Committee Meeting May 22

There will be a Select Committee meeting to discuss (1) The Exchange of Information Bill, (2) The Bill to Repeal the Confidentiality Act and (3) The International Banks Act Amendment Bill. Practitioners wishing to attend and contribute to the discussion may contact the Authority. The meeting will be held at the Ministry of Finance Conference Room at 9:00 am on May 22, 2002.

Bills that will be discussed at the Committee level:

Exchange of Information Act 2002 (22KB) PDF

International Banks Amendment Act (22KB) PDF

 

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30th April, 2002 - Anti Money Laundering Training Seminar May 23-24

The OFA is proud to announce an Anti Money Laundering Training Seminar hosted by the Anti Money Laundering Committee in association with the Caribbean Anti Money Laundering Programme (CALP) on May 23 and 24 at the Methodist Church Hall, Kingstown.

For more information, please click on the following link.


Anti Money Laundering Seminar - Event Schedule (263KB) PDF
 

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5th April, 2002 - Nine Offshore Banks Licences Revoked in St. Vincent

Nine offshore banks operating in St. Vincent and the Grenadines have had their licences revoked by the Offshore Finance Authority, as efforts continue to clean up the offshore sector and to make it more transparent.

The following class I international banks had their licences revoked: Mariner International Bank Ltd., Platinum Capital Bank, Baltic Bank Ltd., Bank Net & Finance Inc., Heritage International Bank, Digital Commerce Bank, Vantage Internet Bank Ltd., Rhein Bank AG and Global Access Bank Ltd. The Private Bank has voluntarily surrendered its licence.

On March 28, 2002 the Supreme Court of St. Vincent and the Grenadines granted the application by the Offshore Finance Authority for the appointment of Marcus A Wide, a partner of Price Waterhouse Coopers, as liquidator of international banks New Bank Ltd. and Nano and Sons Private Bankers.

The Offshore Finance Inspector (Ag) Colin Williams said that the reason for the revocation of 9 licences was their failure to comply with the banking laws and regulations in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. All banks were given reasonable opportunity to comply prior to the decision to revoke.

Mr Williams also said that the ‘policy of the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is to have a carefully vetted and regulated international banking sector.’

26th February, 2002 - SVG's Commitment to OECD

St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Tuesday, 26 February, 2002 committed formally to the principles of transparency and the sharing of information enunciated by the OECD after discussions with OECD officials in January and February 2002.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines welcomed the shift in the original approach of the OECD in its harmful tax initiative and the willingness of the OECD to listen to the concerns of its economic partners. It is in part because of the modification of the original harmful tax approach why this country decided that it would commit. St. Vincent and the Grenadines will now participate fully in the Global Forum as an equal partner to discuss and determine the interpretation of these commitments.

The decision to commit to transparency and the effective exchange of information is also an expression of the political will in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to ensure that its financial services industry is one that has much to please and little to fault in the eyes of the international community.

In signing on to the OECD elaborated principles of transparency and effective exchange of information, St. Vincent and the Grenadines will not appear on the OECD’s list of un-cooperative tax havens and the country will not be subject to defensive measures by OECD member states and committed jurisdictions.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said: ‘The move by St. Vincent and the Grenadines to commit to these principles is part of a general shift in the direction of the offshore industry in this country away from privacy and towards a new era where the industry will offer innovative offshore products, fiscal incentives and efficiency.’

For more information, please click on the following link.

SVG's commitment to OECD (10KB) PDF

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18th January, 2002

On Thursday 17 January 2002 the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) Regulations, 2002 (‘the Regulations’) were approved in the Parliament of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Regulations were drafted by Mr Fitzroy Drayton of the Caribbean Anti Money Laundering Programme. They were fine tuned at a Consultation that was hosted by the Offshore Finance Authority and the Attorney General’s Chambers on January 4, 2002. Persons from the legal, accounting and finance community as well as senior government officials attended the Consultation.

The Regulations are in effect the new ‘due diligence’ laws of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. These Regulations are in fact the practical guidelines to the newly passed Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering (Prevention) Act that financial institutions and persons engaged in relevant business activities must follow. In particular the Regulations set out the record keeping, identification and reporting requirements for such institutions.

The Offshore Finance Authority is particularly proud that these Regulations address a particular concern of the Financial Action Task Force about the existence of anonymous accounts in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. These Regulations have a transitional provision, namely section 10, which ensures that all existing anonymous accounts must disclose their beneficial owners within one year of these Regulations.

Other aspects of the Regulations provide standard internationally accepted procedures that must be followed in order to ascertain the identity of an individual or legal entity, as well as sound record keeping procedures.

The Regulations will be easy to follow as there is a Schedule attached to the Regulations that set out the Procedure for the Verification of individuals, corporate entities, partnerships or unincorporated businesses and facilities established by telephone or internet.

The Offshore Finance Authority will be coordinating a rigorous educational programme to ensure that the persons and institutions who are covered by the Regulations will be made aware of their relevant due diligence responsibilities.

18th January, 2002

Welcome to the New Registrar of International Business Companies – Ms Alyson Samuel

The Offshore Finance Authority is very pleased to welcome to its team Ms Alyson Samuel as the Registrar of IBCs. Ms Samuel has worked in the public service for 24 years. She has spent most of this time giving distinguished service as the Deputy Registrar Non Professional at the Registry of the Eastern Supreme Court of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Her training included the New Rules of the Eastern Supreme Court, in which she completed a course with the top grade in Eastern Caribbean. Ms Samuel has also worked in many departments of the government legal service, including a stint at the Offshore Finance Authority. It is a great pleasure for us to welcome her home.



29th October, 2001

The Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Offshore Finance Authority (OFA) and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) have today, Monday, the 29th of October, 2001, concluded an Administrative Procedures Agreement to cover the supervision of offshore banks.

A team from the Saint Kitts-based ECCB met with officials of the OFA to finalise the Agreement, which deals with matters such as the licensing of offshore banks and the supervision and regulation of offshore banks.

Under the Agreement, the OFA and the ECCB will review applications for international (offshore) bank licenses before any approval is given. Previously, the OFA was the sole body responsible for reviewing applications.

The ECCB will also collaborate with the OFA in conducting off-site and on-site examinations of banks. These would include reviews of the licensees quarterly returns and annual statements, as well as regular meetings with the offshore banks to review their performance.

Acting Offshore Finance Inspector, Colin Williams, noted that this Agreement is another step in the process of ensuring that Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a clean and credible jurisdiction.

Assistant Offshore Finance Inspector, Louise Mitchell, welcomed the Agreement. She pointed out that it strengthens the capacity of the OFA to supervise the offshore banking sector.

The ECCB already supervises all commercial banks in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

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