The Financial Services Commission (FSC) recently issued the Regulatory Code (Recognised Exchanges) Notice 2015 under powers set out in the Regulatory Code 2009. The notice became effective as of January 15 2016. The recognised exchanges listed include some of the most important stock and commodity exchanges in the world.

Light-touch regulation

Generally speaking, companies listed on recognised exchanges can benefit from light-touch know-your-customer due diligence processes when dealing with or being serviced by BVI-regulated credit or financial institutions.

More specifically – and conversely – BVI-regulated credit or financial institutions (defined in the Anti-money Laundering Regulations 2008 as 'relevant persons') may rely on savings in BVI AML legislation, principally the Anti-money Laundering Regulations and the Anti-money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Code of Practice 2008 to avoid having to undertake know-your-customer checks on the beneficial owners of a company listed on a recognised stock exchange. In this way the introduction of the recognised list should be seen positively as a way of lessening the administrative burden of the client on-boarding process in the British Virgin Islands.

Recognised exchanges

Under the code, a 'recognised exchange' is an exchange that is a member of the World Federation of Exchanges website (www.world-exchanges.org) or an exchange that is expressly recognised by the FSC by notice published in the Official Gazette.

The recognised exchanges in the notice are as follows:

  • American Stock Exchange;
  • Australian Stock Exchange;
  • Bourse de Montreal Inc;
  • Cayman Islands Stock Exchange;
  • Channel Islands Stock Exchange;
  • Chicago Board of Trade;
  • Chicago Stock Exchange;
  • Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange Inc;
  • EUREX;
  • ICE Futures Europe;
  • ICE Futures US Inc;
  • ICAP Securities & Derivatives Exchange Limited;
  • International Capital Market Association;
  • Kansas City Board of Trade;
  • LIFFE Administration and Management;
  • London Stock Exchange Plc;
  • MidAmerica Commodity Exchange;
  • Minneapolis Grain Exchange;
  • New York Cotton Exchange;
  • New York Futures Exchange;
  • New York Mercantile Exchange Inc;
  • New York Stock Exchange;
  • New Zealand Stock Exchange;
  • Osaka Securities Exchange;
  • Pacific Exchange;
  • Philadelphia Stock Exchange;
  • South African Futures Exchange;
  • The London Metal Exchange Limited;
  • Tokyo International Financial Futures Exchange;
  • Tokyo Stock Exchange; and
  • Toronto Stock Exchange.

For further information on this topic please contact Aki Corsoni-Husain or Mirza Manraj at Harney Westwood & Riegels by telephone (+1 284 852 2565) or email (aki.corsoni-husain@harneys.com or mirza.manraj@harneys.com). The Harney Westwood & Riegels website can be accessed at www.harneys.com.

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