Figures recently released by the Financial Services Commission
show that new BVI Business Company incorporations fell 35 percent in the last three months of 2009, from a third quarter yearly high of 13,368 to 11,931.
Last year’s sluggish incorporation numbers were the worst on record since the FSC began issuing statistical bulletins, in 2003, with a 40 percent annual drop in new incorporations from 2008. There were 410,293 active companies in the territory as of Dec. 31, 2009, a slight drop from the 414,620 recorded in 2008.
Fiduciary Services recorded six new licensed entities in Q4 last year, making for 266 current licensed entities in the territory as of year’s end. Meanwhile, commercial banks reported $2.45 billion in total assets, with cash items at $925 million and a net income of $33 million.
Fourth quarter investment business also reported growth of 45 percent when compared to the third quarter, with 46 professional funds, 20 private funds and one public fund licensed in the last three months of 2009. As of Dec. 31, there were 2,937 active licensed funds in the territory, a 0.5 percent fall from the 2,953 active licensed funds in 2008. Four professional and one private fund were re-registered as segregated portfolio companies in Q4 2009.
Insolvency services reported growth in licensed insolvency practitioners last year, from 15 in 2007 to 16 in 2008 and 17 in 2009. Captive insurance licences dropped 54 percent, from 11 in Q4 2008, to five in Q4 2009. There were 320 total licensed insurers as of year’s end 2009.
Meanwhile, the territory recorded 55 enforcement matters in Q4 2009, an increase of 14 over the same period in 2008. There were 24 formal requests for information and 26 informal requests for information in Q4 2009, compared to nine formal requests and three informal requests in Q4 2008.
There were 19 cases before the Enforcement Committee in October 2009, 25 in November and 11 in December, with 18, 39 and eight enforcement actions taken over the three months, respectively.
Speaking yesterday, International Finance Centre Executive Director Sherri Ortiz said the figures were largely positive.
“Basically in terms of what you’ve seen from those figures, they speak to some increases throughout the market,” Ms. Ortiz said. “Generally speaking, we are very encouraged and see it as a trend that will continue.”