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BVIFSC concludes Memorandum of Understanding with European Securities and Markets Authority - Press Release No. 2 of 2013

Friday, 31 May, 2013


The British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission concludes Memorandum of Understanding with European Securities and Markets Authority

Memorandum of Understanding allows BVI Mutual Fund Industry to
Market in the EU and to EU Investors

Tortola, British Virgin Islands – 31 May 2013 – Today, the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission (FSC) announced that the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) approved a cooperation agreement between the FSC and European Union securities regulators. 

The agreement was negotiated by ESMA on behalf of EU securities regulators with responsibility for the supervision of alternative investment funds (AIFs), including hedge funds, private equity funds and real estate funds. This ensures that the BVI Mutual Fund Industry will be able to market its products within the European Union.

Agreement on the MOU followed discussions between the FSC and ESMA surrounding the European Union’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMs) Directive (the Directive).  The Directive, a draft of which was first issued in 2009 by the European Commission, focuses on creating a comprehensive regulatory and supervisory framework for all AIFMs across Europe.  It also establishes common regulatory standards for all AIFMs and enhances transparency of their activities and the activities of funds they manage. 

The FSC has been in negotiations with ESMA since April 2012 and, through its participation in the process, is confident that the MOU represents a balanced approach. The MOU is largely based on the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMOU), and as the first jurisdiction to be admitted to IOSCO membership on the basis of the MMOU, the BVI has over the years developed a robust international cooperation regime based on mutual cooperation on information sharing and rendering necessary assistance in regulatory matters.

The MOU between the FSC and EU securities regulators is further evidence that the FSC remains committed to fulfilling its international obligations relating to information exchange and combating illicit activity that may involve the use of regulated financial services structures. In addition, it demonstrates the recognition and importance of BVI funds in the global funds industry.

“We worked with ESMA over this last year to ensure that we reached an agreement that reflected the needs of EU member states as well as the needs of the British Virgin Islands. 

We believe this MoU achieves that goal and the Commission looks forward to working with ESMA and the EU countries ensuring that the BVI continues its commitment to meeting its international obligations and standards,” said Managing Director/CEO of the FSC, Robert Mathavious.  

The FSC will continue to work with the local financial services industry to foster this newly-gained relationship with ESMA and the relevant European Union countries with a view to strengthening cooperation and protecting and preserving the interests of the industry and the Territory as a whole.

About the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission

The BVI Financial Services Commission is an autonomous regulatory agency responsible for the regulation and supervision of financial services conducted in and from within the Territory. 

Investment Business activities in the Territory are governed primarily by the Securities and Investment Business Act, 2010 (SIBA) which is administered by the BVI FSC. 

For further information, please contact:        

Corporate Communications
BVI Financial Services Commission
Pasea Estate, Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Tel:     (284) 494-4190
Fax:     (284) 494-5016