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British Virgin Islands sets up regulatory body

The British Virgin Islands is setting up an independent financial services regulatory body.

The move by the BVI government follows recommendations made last year by consultancy KPMG which indicated that such a body was a vital component for any offshore financial centre.

The Financial Service Commission&#39s main functions will include protection of consumers by ensuring all firms and individuals offering financial services from the islands are authorised, competent and financially sound. It will also have a brief to promote consumer understanding as well as try to help innovation.

It will police the market with the ability and can take legal action and impose fines and monitor and act against financial crime.

BVI financial services department director Robert Mathavious says: “A number of autonomous regulatory authorities have rec- ently been created in offshore centres such as the Isle of Man and the Chan-nel Islands. The BVI feels it is a key requirement to maintain and build on its position as a leading financial centre.

“It is essential to have the resources and legislative powers to allow the regulatory body to fulfil its role effectively.”

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