British Virgin Islands: Offshore Business Sectors
Trust Management has been a major activity in the British Virgin Islands for 30 years or more. Originally the trust was used primarily by wealthy individuals from the major common law countries, but it is now accepted as a major technique of asset protection in all parts of the world. Trusts in the BVI have a basis in common law, and are formed under the Trustee Ordinance 1961. The Trustee (Amendment) Act 1993 considerably modernised and updated the legislation, allowing for purpose trusts among other things. The new legislation, together with the highly flexible BVI International Business Company, has opened up wider markets for the BVI trust, in which clients are not necessarily interested so much just in tax avoidance, but also in the efficient management of wealth in a more general sense. See Law of Offshore for a fuller treatment of trust law in the BVI.
There is a large and sophisticated community of professional advisers on trust matters in the BVI. Companies offering trust services must be licensed under the Banks and Trust Companies Act 1990, and supervised by the Banking and Fiduciary Division of the Financial Services Commission. See Offshore Legal and Tax Regimes for further details of the licensing regime for trust managers, and fees payable. The BVI trust sector has experienced moderate growth since 1995 growing on average at a rate of 4% annually.