Offshore

BVI Vows To Bounce Back To Full Operations After Hurricane Irma

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, 13 September 2017

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The British Overseas Territory, badly hit by the hurricane, is now assessing damage to its important financial services sector.

Part of the business and financial sector of the British Virgin Islands has been damaged by Hurricane Irma, while the jurisdiction has vowed to return to full operations as soon as possible. 

Another British Overseas Territory, the Cayman Islands, appears to have largely escaped the worst of the impact, reports say. Various rescue and relief efforts are being deployed from the Caymans as part of wider operations.

The government of the BVI said there had been damage, but that the island will work to recover.

“Many overseas offices have come together to support the BVI and work out the best way of continuing to provide vital business services remotely until the BVI is in a position to bring them substantively back on Island.  We are incredibly grateful for the contribution they are making and the efforts being made to help this part of the BVI economy get back on its feet,” Dr Orlando Smith, premier of the country, said in a statement.

Some offices belonging to the business and finance sector survived, as did the BVI Financial Services Commission, which houses other services such as the corporate registry, Dr Smith said. 

The BVI Financial Services Commission yesterday said “full functionality” on its online company registration portal VIRRGIN has been restored after being knocked out by the hurricane that has wreaked havoc in its path.

“The BVI’s international business and finance centre has been damaged, but key elements including the BVI Financial Services Commission, have survived and are intact. We are working closely with our private sector partners to ensure that a level of normalcy is resumed to business services as soon as possible. Given the international nature of the businesses located in the BVI, most have been able to call upon their international networks for support and the delivery of services,” Lorna Smith, interim executive director of BVI Finance, said.

Offshore law firm
Conyers, the law firm, said its BVI office was intact and it expected that staff could return to the premises as soon as its practicable. "At this time, our services are operational, as our lawyers have been set-up remotely to handle any and all inquiries during this time," it said. 

"There is considerable damage to homes, property and infrastructure. Our immediate priority has been the safety of our colleagues and their families, several of which were evacuated over these last five days," it added. 

 

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