Preliminary Licences Transferability of Shares Administration Miscellaneous Particulars in Applications Fees for the Grant of a Licence Fees for the Renewal of a Licence

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

BANKS AND TRUST COMPANIES ACT, 1990

PART II - Licences
Requirement For Licence

3.(1) No person shall carry on banking business, and no trust company shall carry on trust business, from within the Virgin Islands, whether or not such business is carried on within or outside the Virgin Islands, unless the person or the trust company, as the case may be, has obtained a licence under this Act for the purpose.

(2) No company incorporated in the Virgin Islands shall carry on banking business or trust business within or outside the Virgin Islands unless the comp any has obtained a licence under this Act for the purpose.

Application for licence

4.(1) A licence is obtainable by making application therefor to the Governor in the prescribed form.

(2) An application under subsection (1) shall contain the particulars set out in the First Schedule and shall be accompanied by the fee prescribed in Part I of the Second Schedule.

(3) The Second Schedule may be amended by an order made by the Governor and an order made under this subsection shall be subject to affirmative resolution.

(4) If the Governor is satisfied that an application to carry on banking business or trust business is not against the public interest and that the applicant is a person qualified to carry on banking business or trust business, he may grant the application and issue to the applicant a licence subject to such terms and conditions as the Governor thinks fit.

(5) A decision to refuse to grant a licence, other than a licence in respect of a business in existence at the date of the commencement of this Act, is final and is not subject to any appeal.

(6) The Governor shall cause notice of the grant of a licence under this Act to be published in the Gazette.

(7) A licence is issued under this Act shall be prominently displayed on the premises where the business is carried on.

Duration of licence

5. A licence issued under this Act is valid until 31st December of the year in which it is issued and is renewable during the month of January in the following year upon payment of the fee prescribed in Part II of the Second Schedule.

Exemptions

6.(1) A person who is licensed under this Act is not required to be licensed under the Business Professions and Trade Licences Act, 1989 to carry on banking business or trust business.

(2) This Act does not apply to a person licensed under the Company Management Act, 1990.

Existing businesses

7. A person who at the commencement of this Act is carrying on banking business or trust business has a period of 3 months to comply with the provisions of this Act.

Notification of change in particulars of licensee

8. Where a change occurs in the particulars of a licensee as set out in the application for theparticulars licence, the licensee shall, as soon as possible thereafter, inform the Governor of the change.

Principal office and authorized agent

9.(1) A licence shall not be granted to any person unless the person designates, and notifies the Governor,

(a) a principal office in the Virgin Islands; and

(b) by name, two individuals, approved by the Governor and the Inspector, to be that person's authorized agents in the Virgin Islands.

(2) The functions of an authorized agent are to act as an intermediary between the licensee and, as the case may be, the Governor or the Inspector, except that in the absence or inability of one authorized agent may carry out the functions of both authorized agents under this subsection.

(3) It shall be a condition of every licence granted that the licensee shall forthwith notify the Governor in writing of any change of

(a) its principal office in the Virgin Islands; or

(b) any of the persons designated as an authorized agent pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection (1).

(4) Where the Governor has approved a person under paragraph (b) of subsection (1) as an authorized agent, he may in writing revoke the approval.

Types of licences

10.(1) A licence issued under this Act must be in one of the following categories:

(a) a general banking licence, for the purposes of carrying on banking business within and outside the jurisdiction of the Virgin Islands without any restrictions on that business;

(b) a restricted Class I banking licence, for the purpose of carrying on banking business with the restrictions on that business set forth in section 11;

(c) a restricted Class II banking licence, for the purpose of carrying on banking business with the restrictions on that business set forth in section 11 with the further restriction that the licensee shall not receive or solicit funds by way of trade or business from persons other than those listed in any undertaking accompanying the application for the licence;

(d) a general trust licence, for the purpose of carrying on trust business without any restrictions; and

(e) a restricted trust licence, for the purpose of carrying on trust business with the restriction that the licensee shall not undertake trust business for persons other than those listed in any undertaking accompanying the application for the licence.

(2) There may be listed in a schedule to the application for a general trust licence the name of any company engaging in trust business being a subsidiary of the company applying for a general trust licence together with a description of the particular type of trust business being carried on or to be carried on by the subsidiary and the Governor may, upon granting the general trust licence to the applicant company, include in the licence the name of each subsidiary to be included in the licence together with the terms and conditions, if any, subject to which the licence is extended to include each subsidiary.

Limitations on restricted banking licences.

11. The holder of a restricted Class I banking licence shall not

(a) take banking deposits from any person resident in the Virgin Islands other than another licensee or a company incorporated under the International Business Companies Act, 1984;

(b) invest in any asset that represents a claim on any person resident in the Virgin Islands except a claim resulting from

(i) a transaction with another licensee, or

(ii) the purchase of bonds or other securities issued by the Government, a statutory corporation or a company in which the Government is the sole or majority beneficial owner; or

(c) without the written approval of the Governor, carry on any business in the Virgin Islands other than the business for which the restricted Class I banking licence has been obtained.

Capital requirements

12.(1) No general banking licence shall be granted to a company unless the company

(a) has a fully paid up capital of not less than $2,000,000 or its equivalent in foreign currencies, or such greater sum as the Governor, by order, determines; and

(b) has deposited or invested the sum of $500,000 in such manner as the Governor, by order, prescribes.

(2) No restricted Class I banking licence or restricted Class II banking licence shall be granted to any company unless the company

(a) has a fully paid up capital of not less than $1,000,000, or its equivalent in foreign currencies, or such greater sum as the Governor, by order, determines; and

(b) has deposited or invested a sum of $500,000 in such manner as the Governor, by order, prescribes.

(3) No general trust licence shall be granted to any trust company unless the trust company

(a) has a fully paid up capital of not less than $250,000, or its equivalent in foreign currencies, or such greater sum as the Governor, by order, determines; and

(b) has deposited or invested a sum of money as may be specified by the Governor but not to exceed $100,000, in such manner as the Governor, by order, prescribes.

(4) The Governor may, on the recommendation of the Inspector, require a licensee to increase its fully paid up capital to such greater amount as the Governor may determine for the nature of the banking business or trust business being, or sought to be, undertaken.

Surrender of licence

13.(1) A licensee that has ceased to carry on the business in respect of which its licence was granted may apply to the Governor to surrender its licence if the licensee

(a) produces evidence that it has repaid all deposits and has transferred all trust assets held or administered by it; or

(b) being a company, is being wound up voluntarily and produces evidence that it is solvent and is able on demand to repay all its other deposits held by it and all its other creditors and has transferred all trust assets held or administered by it, and the Governor may thereupon approve the surrender.

(2) In the case of an application under paragraph (b) of subsection (1) the Attorney General may apply to the court for an order that the licensee be wound up, either by the court, or subject to the supervision of the court, and where the court so orders the provisions of the Companies Act relating to the winding up of a company by or subject to the supervision of the court, mutatis mutandis, apply.