For the past twenty years, the island of Nevis has enjoyed a solid reputation as an innovative and reliable jurisdiction in international financial services and tourism. Nevis’ legislative regime for financial services include international exempt trusts, international business companies, limited liability companies and offshore banks. Additionally, the Nevis Island Administration has drafted new legislation for insurance products and is currently perusing legislation for new products to complement its existing vehicles.
In the recent past, Nevis, as with other financial centres have faced shocks and dislocations presented by the continued attacks by international organisations as well as national governments using such measures as blacklists, anti-money laundering measures, counter terrorism financial enforcement, advisories and the imposition of heightened standards that have all increased the pressure on the Caribbean financial services industry. Furthermore, the events of the recent past, namely, the world economic recession and the terrorists attacks in the global arena, have presented ongoing challenges to governments and private sector practitioners, as does the continuing threat of global conflicts.
Nevis now more competitive
Nevis recognises that it cannot be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the challenges and is therefore mindful of the fact that it must turn challenges into opportunities and look to the future with confidence.
In spite of these realities, the challenges posed to Nevis’ vibrant financial services jurisdiction by the FATF and OECD listings are now safely behind Nevis, and the island is proceeding full steam ahead as it continues to maintain its reputation as a high quality, respectable international financial centre.
Despite the many challenges posed by the onerous regulatory standards that have been implemented and the passage of other initiatives, Nevis has become more competitive and despite its size, is a giant in the provision of financial services. With the advancement in technology, borders have broken down and have enabled Nevis to compete directly with centres in the developed countries. This reality requires that both Government and the Service Providers plan more effectively, search for new opportunities, carefully assess risk, and more importantly, adjust to change.
To this end, Nevis is committed to continuing its efforts to upgrade its regulatory and legal infrastructure, as it pursues initiatives to enhance its reputation and competitiveness.
Commitment to a Proper Regulatory Regime
Over the years, the Government of Nevis has jealously guarded its impeccable reputation and has continuously demonstrated its serious commitment to the development of a reputable international financial services sector. Consequently, extensive due diligence and other measures are undertaken to ensure that only persons with the highest degree of integrity are permitted to conduct business activity on the island.
A Service Providers Corporate Management & Trustee (Licencing) Ordinance has been drafted and is awaiting presentation to the Nevis Island Assembly. The Ordinance governs licensing requirements and continuation of a license as well as the penalties associated with breaches.
The Nevis Island Administration recognises that it is extremely important that all relevant persons, financial institutions and government authorities be properly familiar, trained and updated on the workings of the systems and the measures that need to be undertaken to ensure that only reputable operators are permitted to operate on the island of Nevis. It is with this in mind that several anti-money laundering, compliance training and other seminars have been held in conjunction with regional and international organisations for services providers on the island.
One of the top priorities for the future is to focus on education to better prepare the practitioners on the island for meeting the needs of a very dynamic industry. To assist in achieving this goal, the Government has worked assiduously to launch chapters of international organisations in Nevis. To this end, recently, a Compliance Officers Association and a local Chapter of the Offshore Institute were formed in Nevis. These are dynamic organisations that provide education, information and networking to its members and interested persons. Additionally, in August 2003, Nevis hosted a major international financial services industry conference with world-renowned international speakers at the Four Seasons Resort Nevis on the theme "Strategies to Ensure the Future of the International Financial Services Industry." Plans are in place to make this an international event. Furthermore, a comprehensive 232-page publication entitled "The Nevis Golden Book 2003/2004" was recently launched. These and other initiatives are undertaken to ensure that Nevis maintains its rightful place among the leaders in the international financial services sector and at the same time facilitate the education, growth and development of the operators in the financial services sector.
A major aim of Nevis is to increase its market share in the financial services arena. To meet this goal, the Administration has established various committees, which are charged with developing legislation for new products and identifying new markets.
You are therefore encouraged to take a serious look at Nevis. Upon examination of information relative to Nevis, it will become apparent that Nevis is an interesting and sensible place to visit and a prudent place to undertake business activity. You can be assured that the Nevis Island Administration will give serious consideration to lucrative investment proposals. You will not be disappointed for making Nevis the island of choice for vacation and investment purposes.
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