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Legal & Regulatory Framework

Legal Framework

The BVI’s reputation is grounded in its robust, modern and yet flexible regulatory framework. The Territory continues to actively develop and enhance its legislation to provide an environment that is conducive to conduct financial services business. The BVI has an independent legal and judicial system based on English Common Law, with a right to final appeal to the Privy Council in London.

Commercial Court

The Territory’s profile was raised in 2009 with the opening of the Commercial Court of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. The court was opened in the BVI to manage - commercial matters generated by the jurisdiction’s financial services industry. In 2015, Justice Barry Leon succeeded Justice Edward Bannister, Q.C. who served as Commercial Court Judge since the establishment of the Commercial Court. Between them they have dealt with hundreds of applications of complex matters ranging from arbitration to insolvency.

Regulatory Framework

The BVI Financial Services Commission (FSC) is the body responsible for the regulation, supervision, inspection and licensing of financial services businesses in the Territory. The FSC implements international standards as they evolve and actively shares information with overseas regulatory authorities to keep the BVI at the forefront of regulation. Collaboration between the Government and the private sector ensures a strategic approach to the development of financial services legislation ensuring an attractive environment is fostered for legitimate business to be conducted.

The BVI is widely acknowledged for having an innovative regulatory system and continues to participate in international initiatives relating to transparency, mutual co-operation, information exchange, and anti-money laundering regulation. The BVI has entered into an inter-governmental tax agreement with the UK and US with respect to FATCA; has joined the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD’s) Multilateral Convention on Mutual Assistance on Tax and Administrative Matters and is on the organisation’s White List; is a committed participant of the G-5 Pilot for automatic exchange of information; is compliant with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism terrorist financing; and is a member of the CFATF, the EGMONT Group – sharing intelligence with other governments on financial crimes; and is a full member of the International Organisation of Securities Commission (IOSCO).

Please visit the BVIFSC website for more information on the BVI's legal and regulatory framework.