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BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

BANKS AND TRUST COMPANIES ACT, 1990

PART V - Miscellaneous
Power of Inspector to require insurance

23. The Inspector may require a licensee to effect a policy of insurance with a reputable insurance  company against

(a)  losses arising out of claims by negligence or breach of duty by the licensee or any employee;

(b)  the dishonesty of employees or of the licensee;

(c)  loss of documents; and

(d)  such other risks as the Inspector may from time to time stipulate, in such amount and of such a nature as the Inspector may determine to be fit and proper, having due regard to the nature and type of business carried on by the licensee; and in the event that the insurance is withdrawn, cancelled or not renewed, the licensee shall immediately notify the Inspector and shall cease to carry on its business until the insurance has been reinstated or replaced.

Preservation of secrecy

24.(1) Except for the purpose of the performance or exercise of his duties or functions under this Act or when lawfully required to do so by the court or under the provisions of any other law, neither the Inspector nor any person acting under his authority shall disclose any information relating to any application under the provisions of this Act, or to the affairs of a licensee or of a company managed by a licensee, which he has acquired in the performance or exercise of such duties or functions.

(2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to the disclosure by the Inspector or any person acting under his authority, with the consent of the licensee, to a banking supervisory authority outside the Virgin Islands of general information about the licensee.

(3)  Any person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty  of an  offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,500 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both.

Offences.

25.(1) A licensee or any director or officer of a licensee who knowingly or wilfully supplies false or misleading information to the Governor or the Inspector is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or both.

(2) Any person who operates a banking business or a trust business in contravention of section 16 is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year or both, and in the case of a continuing offence to a fine not exceeding $1,000 for each day during which the offence continues.

(3)  Any licensee who advertises inviting either directly or indirectly other parties to commit breaches of the laws of the country in which the advertisement appears or to which such advertisement is directed is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both.

(4) Where a limited liability company is convicted of an offence against subsection (3), every director and every officer concerned with the management of the company is liable to be convicted for that offence unless he satisfies the court that the offence was committed without his knowledge or consent and that he took all reasonable steps to prevent the commission of the offence.

(5)  Any person who

(a)  fails to comply with a request made of him by the Inspector or by any other person acting under this Act;

(b)  assaults or obstructs the Inspector or other person in the performance of his functions under this Act;

(c)  uses any insulting language to the Inspector or other person in the performance of his functions under this Act;

(d)  by the offer of any gratuity, bribe or any other inducement prevents or attempts to prevent the Inspector or other person from performing his functions under this Act; and

(e)  contravenes any provision of this Act for which no punishment is specifically provided, is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both.

Appeals.

26.(1)  An appeal lies to the High Court from any decision of the Governor

(a)  revoking a licence under subsection (5) of section 16 or under paragraph (a) of subsection (2) or paragraph (d) of subsection

(5) of section 20;

(b)  withdrawing any approval under subsection (4) of section 16;

or

(c)  requiring a licensee to take certain steps which the Governor may specify under section 20.

(2)  An appeal against the decision of the Governor shall be by motion.

(3)  The following procedure applies to appeals from the Governor;

(a)  the appellant within 21 days after the day on which the Governor has given his decision shall serve a notice in writing, signed by the appellant or his solicitor, on the Attorney General of his intention to appeal and of the general grounds of his appeal except that any person aggrieved by a decision of the Governor may upon serving notice on the Attorney General apply to the court within 14 days after the day on which the Governor has given his decision for leave to extend the time within which notice of appeal prescribed by this section may be served, and the court upon hearing of the application may extend the time prescribed by this section as it deems fit;

(b)  the Attorney General shall, within 21 days of receiving the notice of appeal, obtain a copy of the Governor's decision and transmit to the Registrar without delay a copy thereof together with all papers relating to the appeal, except that the Governor is not compelled to disclose any information if he considers that the public interest would suffer by such disclosure and a certificate given by the Governor under the Public Seal is conclusive that disclosure is not in the public interest;

(c)  the Registrar shall set down the appeal for hearing on such day as is convenient, and shall cause notice of the hearing to be published, in such manner, as the court may direct; and

(d)  the court may adjourn the hearing of any appeal and may, upon the hearing thereof, confirm, reverse, vary or modify the decision of the Governor or remit the matter with the opinion of the court thereon to the Governor.

(8)  An appeal against a decision of the Governor shall not operate as a suspension of the decision of the Governor.

Immunity.

27.  No liability attaches to the Governor, the Inspector or any person acting under the authority of the Governor or the Inspector for an act done in good faith in the discharge or purported discharge of his functions under this Act.

Regulations.

28.  The Governor may make regulations generally for carrying the purpose and provisions of this Act into effect, and specifically, for the following purposes:

(a)  prescribing anything by this Act authorised or required to be prescribed;

(b)  controlling the form of advertising by licensees; and

(c)  exempting any person or business, or class of person or business from any provision of this Act.

Directions.

29.  Without limiting or affecting section 28 the Inspector may, from time to time, issue by publication in the Gazette, directions with relation to such matters as he may think fit and appropriate and failure by any licensee to comply with such directions shall be taken into consideration when any action is proposed to be taken under section 20.

Repeal.

30. The Banking Act, 1972 is repealed.

Commencement.

31. This Act comes into operation on such date as the Governor by proclamation published in the Gazette appoints.