In spite of a recent spate of negative publicity, the Virgin Islands’ financial services industry has the “unequivocal support” of the United Kingdom government, Premier Dr. Orlando Smith said last Thursday.

In a lengthy statement before the House of Assembly, Dr. Smith said that a delegation including Financial Secretary Neil Smith and Financial Services Commission Managing Director Robert Mathavious travelled to London on March 26.

Up for discussion, the premier said, was the UK’s upcoming leadership of the G8 nations, a group of wealthy countries that is often at the forefront of policymaking for international finance.

Cooperation with the UK — in this case, talks focused on international rules to combat bribery — is crucial because it gives the VI an advantage over its competitors in financial services, many of which are independent countries.

“Those who market themselves against us as better on the basis that they are an independent country simply do not understand what we gain in our relationship with Her Majesty’s Government,” Dr. Smith said. “We must not allow ourselves to be distracted in our pursuit to continually build and grow our financial services industry.”


See the May 2, 2013 edition for full coverage.