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The Virgin Islands, as an International Finance Centre, remains committed to the global fight against money laundering (ML), terrorist financing (TF) and proliferation financing (PF) by ensuring that it is in compliance with the FATF’s International Standards on Combatting Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation (the FATF Recommendations).  The fight against ML, TF and PF requires a coordinated global effort if positive results are to be achieved, as ML, TF and PF permeate national borders. The ramifications of such activities could have a negative effect on the integrity of the Territory’s financial system, the stability of its economy, and the safety of its citizens. 

The Virgin Islands AML/CFT Framework
The Virgin Islands operates an AML/CFT framework that adheres to all relevant international standards.  The Territory’s legislative regime includes an extensive suite of laws and regulations that give effect to the AML/CFT obligations set out in these international standards.  The framework also includes several co-ordinating bodies whose mandates vary, but which all play an important role in the Territory’s AML/CFT architecture.  
These co-ordinating bodies include the National AML/CFT Coordinating Council (NAMLCC), which leads on all AML/CFT related policy matters, and includes representatives from the following committees:  

  • Council of Competent Authorities
  • Inter-governmental Committee on AML/CFT Matters
  • Joint Anti-money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Advisory Committee 
  • Committee of Law Enforcement Agencies

Role of the Financial Services Commission 
The BVI Financial Services Commission (the “Commission”) is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Territory's AML/CFT systems and controls through supervision of regulated financial institutions in accordance with the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, 2008 and the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Code of Practice, 2008.  This responsibility includes monitoring licensees for compliance with:

  • identification and verification procedures for new and continuing business relationships; 
  • record keeping requirements; 
  • third party relationships and the reliance thereon, including testing of such relationships; 
  • reporting of suspicious activities; 
  • internal control system requirements; and 
  • the identification and handling of PEPs and other high-risk individuals.  

The Commission also provides guidance and performs outreach to its licensees to aid them in understanding their obligations and ensuring the highest level of compliance with AML/CFT requirements. 

The Commission’s AML/CFT Policy and Strategy
The Commission’s AML/CFT responsibilities are guided by its AML/CFT Policy.  The Policy strengthens the Commission’s supervisory, enforcement, and domestic and  international  co - operation regimes, thereby assisting in preventing money laundering and any activity that facilitates money laundering, the funding of terrorists or other criminal activities in or from within the Virgin Islands.

The Commission’s AML/CFT Policy provides a framework for its AML/CFT Strategy.  This Strategy meets the Commission’s objectives of mitigating its risks and complying with all applicable international standards, and national requirements under the Proceeds of Criminal Conduct Act, 1997 and other ancillary legislation that form part of the Territory’s AML/CFT framework.

The Strategy is a three-year road map for the period 2020 to 2022 to implement effective measures across the board to combat ML, TF and PF risks inherent in the financial services sector. The Strategy sets out goals within the four key areas of:

  • supervision,
  • enforcement,
  • promotion of cooperation, and
  • stakeholder awareness and outreach.

The Strategy provides a guide for both the Commission and financial services industry participants, of actions required to be undertaken in order to uphold the Commission as an effective regulator, and advance the Virgin Islands as a secure and well-regulated international financial centre, effective in mitigating against ML, TF and PF.