updated 3:25 PM PDT, Mar 23, 2017
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Gov't & BVI Finance Sign Cooperation Agreement 

Representatives from the Government of the Virgin Islands and BVI Finance Limited signed a Cooperation Agreement to facilitate the promotion and development of BVI’s financial services industry, BVI Finance announced. 

The Cooperation Agreement was signed by Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE and Chairman of the Board at BVI Finance, Kenneth Morgan during a private ceremony at the Office of the Premier. 

Commenting on the signing, Premier Smith said, “Today is a significant day for BVI’s financial services industry as we transition to a true partnership between the public and private sectors. There are numerous challenges facing the industry and by signing this Agreement we commit to working together to ensure its future sustainability.”

The Agreement sets out the responsibilities of both parties in relation to achieving strategic objectives, agreeing on a business plan, reporting to Government and funding for the newly created entity. 

According to BVI Finance Chairman of the Board, Kenneth Morgan, “By creating this new BVI Finance the government and the private sector acknowledge that we have to be nimble, creative and aggressive in promoting our services. By formally joining forces we expect that we can move more quickly and efficiently to promote and/or defend our industry.”

He added, “I thank the government for taking this initiative and for continuing to provide the major funding, this time along with private sector assistance which we hope will grow over time to cement the joint venture which we now are.”

Car Loan Bonanza---Home and Business Loans Drought

These days it is easy to get a car loan, but hard and challenging to get a home or business, financing and Leader of the Opposition Hon. Andrew Fahie announced that this situation has to change, even if he have to be the sole lobbyist on the matter.

During the House of Assembly sitting on March 13th, Hon. Fahie while debating the Financial Services Commission (Amendment) Act 2016, told his colleagues that he is unhappy that many Virgin Islanders are unable to own their own home or business. He therefore called on the Premier and the Financial Services Commission to intervene.

“In this day and age it is still easier to get the money for a car than it is to buy land, than it is to get a business, something is wrong with the policy; and it must start from a policy level in government to get these things changed for our people,” Hon. Fahie explained.

In noting how challenging the situation has become, the Leader of the Opposition said: “It’s difficult now to take your land up to the bank and get money from the bank to start a business, unless you have money you can’t get into business. When you analyze it you can get a car financed almost 100 percent from a bank or even if you put down 10 percent.”

He further announced that he intends to lobby for change: “Madame Speaker I will not stop on it till I see a substantial policy or action of the financial services that results in something tangible inside the banks that you can look for, Madame Speaker that you can say well I think that we are getting somewhere.”

Hon. Fahie added: "We have to move as leaders to get inside the banks through the same Financial Services, to sit down with them and say whatever you need Financial Services will give to you. But what we need from you (Premier), is to go into these banks and sit down with them, as Premier and Minister of Finance, and go through some of the scenarios of our people and come up with better policies by the banks. We can't dictate, but we can encourage to create an environment that understands that while they are concerned about businesses, people are the ones that we are building this country for.”

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