As published on bvinews.com, Friday 13 May, 2022.
In a joint statement with the Governor’s Office and the Ministry of Finance, the BVI Financial Services Commission (FSC) said it is committed to maintaining its relationship with the United Kingdom and is taking all the requisite steps to ensure that it adheres to its international obligations regarding imposing financial sanctions.
As a result, the territory is also complying with all sanctions issued by the United Kingdom that are extended to it by way of the relevant Overseas Territories Sanctions Orders in Council.
The three bodies said the BVI actively monitors the UK Sanctions listings published by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), as well as the UK’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), with the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and the Financial Investigation Agency (FIA) ensuring the timely dissemination of sanction updates to its financial services providers, designated non-financial businesses and professions, and non-profit organisations.
“Where any requests for international cooperation are received, the BVI stands ready to execute these, including the sharing of beneficial ownership information, with overseas law enforcement, under the Exchange of Notes with the United Kingdom Government under which information can be exchanged in as little as one hour in urgent cases,” the joint press statement said.
“Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Governor’s Office, as the competent authority for sanctions in the BVI, has received confirmation that assets with an estimated value of more than US$ 400,000,000 have been frozen to date. These actions have been taken in compliance with freezing obligations under The Russia (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) Order 2020,” the press release continues.
Governor John Rankin said he welcomes the early steps taken by the territory to ensure it meets the sanctions requirements in response to Russia’s ‘unprovoked, premeditated, and unjustified’ invasion of Ukraine.
“The Governor’s Office, along with FCDO and OFSI, continues to support and work together with the FSC, FIA, and other relevant agencies and Competent Authorities in implementing these wide-ranging sanctions measures and meeting international obligations,” Rankin said
Meanwhile, Managing Director of the FS, Kenneth Baker noted that this cohesive approach to sanctions implementation is underpinned by the Territory’s Council of Competent Authorities which practices a joined-up delivery on international cooperation issues as a whole and promotes a strong culture of domestic cooperation amongst all competent authorities.
Financial sanctions are restrictions put in place to achieve a specific foreign policy or national security objective. They can limit the provision of certain financial services and restrict access to financial markets, funds, and economic resources.