Robert Mathavious rose to the podium at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College auditorium this morning and told the audience it was time for a “sober chat” about the state of the territory’s financial services sector.

Speaking at a “Meet the Regulator” forum hosted by the Financial Services Commission, Mr. Mathavious, the FSC’s director, said that the industry continues to face serious challenges.

“I think if you look around you will all agree that the industry is challenged. Perhaps at no other time has the industry been under such attack; has the reputation of the industry been at such a low point,” he said.

As an example of one challenge to the territory’s global reputation, Mr. Mathavious referenced a news report last week on a group that protested about a London house purportedly belonging to a relative of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The group claimed that the relative owned the house through a Virgin Islands-registered company, according to BBC News.

“This brings the BVI in the news, not necessarily in a way which we would like to see ourselves,” Mr. Mathavious said.

See tomorrow’s edition for full coverage.