Stakeholders of the BVI financial services sector brainstormed on ways to improve the industry. Some of the major issues affecting the industry were discussed during the conference that was organized by the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP BVI) on 7 October. In the end, it was agreed that a proactive approach remained the appropriate response to the challenges.
The conference was held under the theme “The New Playing Field” and Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith said that the goal appears to keep shifting.
The BVI Leader noted that the Territory continues to face challenges from various international organizations. “The impacts have been relentless and we continue to be under pressure to maintain the integrity and sustainability of the industry as a result of the agenda set by various international organizations,” he said.
Chair of STEP BVI, Vanessa King said that STEP members are confident that the financial services playing field is not level, and may never be. “What we are faced with today is a new playing field from the one of a few years ago and will definitely change,” she stated.
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) Dr Robert A. Mathavious announced that the industry has to strive to remain competitive, despite the many challenges.
“The reputation of the industry is at an all time low, this is the reality of the new playing field for cross border financial services. Industry practitioners and regulators must therefore adapt and be prepared to learn new skills and to inculcate a culture in which training and improvement are the norm. We must all be ready not just for the reality of today, but also for the future landscape,” he said.
“Now if the BVI is to continue being a relevant player in this new playing field, our watch word, our mantra, and our resolve must be to learn and to evolve. The financial services sector is truly a global sector, it knows no borders. In this dynamic and highly competitive sector one cannot be complacent, resting on our laurels is not an option. For our sector to continuously evolve and keep pace with the latest international developments we need to boost the confidence of investors in the jurisdiction and in the expertise of its practitioners,” the FSC Managing Director announced.