British Virgin Islands

Friday, Dec 04, 2020

UK wants financial protocols upheld but 'will agree to flexibility'- Gov Jaspert

Even as Premier Fahie said Protocols have hampered Govt's ability to seek loan funding

Governor of the Virgin Islands, H.E. Augustus J.U. Jaspert at his June 30, 2020, press conference has indicated that the UK will not be relaxing the Protocols for Effective Financial Management, however, will maintain its position where the Virgin Islands can 'temporarily breach' the protocols to borrow money.

Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie's had said that the protocols have hampered the ability of the VI Government to seek out loan funding to help the local people and stimulate economic activity and therefore, needs to be relaxed.

He said his government was "constrained by certain conditions in the Protocols for Effective Financial Management due to conditions agreed to and signed to by the former Government."

Now according to the Governor, with both the UK and VI having discussed the issue, he reminded that the protocols were implemented to ensure that the VI is putting away enough money in savings and also not borrowing more than they can afford to repay.

Protocols will remain - UK

"The UK Government’s position on the protocols remains the same – specifically, that the Protocols are designed with the best interests of the people at their heart and they provide the financial comfort and safety that each person living here would expect."

Governor Jaspert further noted, "The UK believes they should be upheld, most importantly to protect BVI’s economy but also because the protocols send a clear message of BVI’s commitment to transparency and good governance."

He said, however, that if the VI is willing, the UK will agree to more flexibility within the current arrangements as discussed before which included "temporary breaches" as in the case of when the VI government needs to borrow large amounts of money in exceptional circumstances.

Premier Fahie in the past has indicated that in order for the territory to go ahead with any strategy where it breaches the protocols, the UK must agree to it first in writing, however, that has not materialised.


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