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The Future is Now: BVI FSC Encourages Digitalization at Annual Meet the Regulator Forum

5 July 2019

The British Virgin Islands’ Financial Services Commission (“FSC”) hosted its annual Meet the Regulator Forum at the Eileene L. Parsons Auditorium earlier this week, with over 130 industry practitioners in attendance eager to hear from the Regulators.

With an underlying theme of digitalization, Deputy Managing Director, Corporate Services of FSC Jennifer Potter-Questelles emphasized the importance of embracing digitalization in the industry in her keynote address. She said that “digitalization is our ticket” and as the FSC continues to innovate, the industry is encouraged to do the same at all levels of their organisations.

During her remarks, she further added that: “Integrity and sustainability of the industry are dependent on all the collective parts and more importantly on our connections to each other. Weak links, whether large or small can have significant effect and impact. Sometimes size doesn’t matter, but strength always does. We need every connection to be strong.”

This year’s presentation topics included the BVI’s fintech regulatory sandbox; AML electronic verification and mutual funds annual returns. The first presentation made by Kishelle Blaize‐Cameron, Deputy Director in the FSC’s Investment Business Division, focused on the application, participation and exit processes of the sandbox initiative, while also breaking down the objectives of the sandbox. Deputy Managing Director, Regulation of FSC Kenneth Baker continued by discussing electronic verification process and Janay Waters and Chelcy Forbes, also from the Investment Business Division, made a presentation on mutual funds annual returns.

Main highlights from the presentations included:
• Sandbox participants will be exempt from requiring the regular license from the regulator;
• Sandbox participants would need to submit a detailed testing proposal which includes an exit strategy;
• Sandbox participants will be limited to a maximum number of clients and there will be a specific duration for operation in the sandbox itself;
• Applications for participation will be accepted to the sandbox in the beginning of Q4 2019;
• The FSC has supported the digitalization of AML processes, with amendments made to regulations to accommodate electronic or digital verifications;
• Non-face to face transactions should not be treated as high-risk unless the applicant exhibits high risk; System improvements were made to the mutual funds annual returns application portal

The presentations are available for download on the BVI FSC’s website.

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