loader

2014: BVI's landmark IBC Act marks 30th anniversary

One of the most significant pieces of legislation to shape the global offshore finance sector reached its 30th anniversary on 15 August 2014.

The British Virgin Islands’ (BVI) landmark International Business Companies (IBC) Act gave rise to the BVI’s finance industry and created a successful model that was emulated in other jurisdictions.

The IBC Act was developed by three Harney Westwood & Riegels (Harneys) authors – Michael Riegels, Neville Westwood and Richard Peters - along with then-BVI Attorney General Lewis Hunte and Paul Butler of New York firm Shearman & Sterling.

To mark the anniversary, Harneys produced a brief video featuring interviews with some of the IBC Act founders and its inception and impact.

Read more...


BVI celebrates 30 years as a global financial centre of choice

In 2014, the British Virgin Islands marked 30 years of success as a well-regulated global financial jurisdiction, due to the enactment of the International Business Companies (IBC) Act, 1984.

In honour of this milestone, the BVI International Finance Centre (BVI IFC), hosted a series of commemorative events, under the theme “The IBC Act 1984…Ahead of Its Time”.

These events included an IBC Act commemorative exhibit exhibit, a GIS special feature television programme, and radio public service announcements. The events were designed to educate the public about the history of the financial services industry, the IBC Act and its importance to the Territory.

Read more...

Alt Text

Premier Smith Declares IBC Act 1984 Commemorative Exhibit Open

Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE at the Ribbon Cutting ceremony declaring the opening ceremony for the International Business Companies Act, 1984 Commemorative Exhibit held on September 17. The Exhibit showcases the Territory’s journey as a well-regulated financial services jurisdiction over the past 30 years. It is part of a series of commemorative activities hosted by the BVI International Finance Centre from September 17 to 25

Read more...

Alt Text

Statement by Premier and Minister of Finance on The IBC Act - 30 Years Hence

Madame Speaker, last week I was privileged to open an exhibition at the Central Administration Complex to begin a week of celebrations commemorating the 30th anniversary of the International Business Companies Act, which was passed on August 14, 1984.

This exhibition was followed up by a series of activities including an enlightening televised discussion on Tuesday night on JTV with a simulcast on ZBVI, an essay competition among our high school students that is still ongoing, and this evening I will drink a toast with the industry and those who have contributed much to this sector.

As I reflect on this auspicious occasion of the 30th Anniversary of this innovative piece of legislation that catapulted the British Virgin Islands into becoming an international financial centre for global business, it is only fitting that I set out for this Honourable House the implications of this Act including the challenges that accompany it.

Read more...

Alt Text

Video: The Story of the IBC Act

The IBC Act: Building a Nation

Harneys partner Colin Riegels tells the story of the Act’s development:

"Although nobody knew it at the time, the inception of the British Virgin Islands’ International Business Company Act occurred at some point during the year 1976. Nobody now recalls the exact date, except that it was during the summer."

Read more...

Alt Text

The Authors of the IBC Act

Click on the images to read more about each author

BVI: Then and Now

Road Town, BVI circa 1984

Alt Text

Road Town, BVI 2014

Alt Text

IBC Act 1984 Commemorative Exhibit

Alt Text

Alt Text

Alt Text

Further Reading

Harneys 2014