For decades, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) has been a leading international financial centre that continues to play a unique and neutral role in global finance. Simon Filmer, Global Lead, Company Formation at Vistra, recently shared his insights in IFC Review on what contributed to the jurisdiction's status and why it will continue to thrive in the next decade.
For multinational businesses, having a reliable third-party conduit is key to successful international trade. The BVI's legal framework and court system have continued to evolve and develop over the years. As a result, more companies have opted for BVI vehicles when doing business, thus creating a virtuous circle of expansion and improvement in services to meet the needs of an increasingly sophisticated clientele.
The BVI also brings to the table first-class professional services, including accounting, audit, and restructuring, many of which are part of much larger multinational groups. Since it passed the International Business Companies Act over 35 years ago in 1984, the BVI has vigorously pursued its goal of becoming a major player in cross-border business formation and operations, which it has achieved with notable success.
The BVI's role as neutral intermediary provides important economic advantages and economic stability. For example, clients can swiftly set up a new BVI structure that is globally recognised and accepted for international business. Many such clients are from emerging markets and economies, and it can be helpful for them to disintermediate, particularly at a time of international tension.
Lastly, the country's full cooperation with the strict standards of international authorities means that businesses can operate with the assurance that they are upstanding members of the global financial community.
Simon concluded that by building a strong network of expertise over the past 30 years and working hand-in-hand with international authorities, the BVI has come to assume systemic importance in the global financial services industry.
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