The Securities and Investment Business Act, 2010 ("SIBA") was brought into force on 17 May 2010 (other than Part II dealing with the public issue of securities). SIBA augments the BVI's regulatory regime to ensure it complies with international best practice and implements standards laid down by the International Monetary Fund ("IMF") and the International Organisation of Securities Commissions ("IOSCO"). SIBA provides for:
- An investment business licensing regime to regulate investment advisors, broker-dealers, market makers, custodians and operators of investment exchanges.
- Adoption of restrictions on, and regulation of, the public issues of securities in a non-mutual funds context.
- Introduction of a market abuse regime which provides for the offences of insider trading, circulating misleading information and market manipulation.
- Repeal of the Mutual Funds Act, 1996 and its replacement with Part III of SIBA and the Mutual Funds Regulations, 2010 and the Public Funds Code.
SIBA regulates "investment business" in or from within the BVI and provides that no person may carry on "investment business" of any kind in or from within the BVI unless they are licensed by the BVI Financial Services Commission ("FSC") to carry on such investment business. The scope of SIBA includes any BVI Business Company which carries on investment business anywhere in the world even if the only link with the BVI is the location of its registered office, as well as any person who solicits a person in the BVI in order to offer investment services.
Public Issues of Securities
Part II of SIBA introduces a new regime to regulate any person offering issues of securities to "the public" in the BVI, but it does not include securities issued by mutual funds or offers to "qualified investors" (which includes listed companies, FSC regulated entities and persons having a close connection with the issuer and professional investors).
SIBA introduces criminal offences for BVI based individuals who conduct insider dealing, carry on market manipulation or make misleading statements relating to investment business. These provisions bring the BVI in line with internationally accepted standards for the prevention of market abuse and similar financial crimes.
- business plans
- coordinating licensing application
- resident Authorized Representative
- provision of a principal office
- ongoing compliance reviews
- accounting services and maintenance of proper books and records
- liaison with actuaries, auditors, tax and legal advisors