The Office of the Supervisor of Insolvency (‘OSOI’) was established pursuant to the provisions of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act 2007 (‘the BIA’). The accompanying secondary legislation, the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Regulations, were passed in 2015. This legislative framework revised the law in St. Vincent and the Grenadines relating to bankruptcy and insolvency and made provisions for both corporate and individual insolvency, the rehabilitation of the insolvent debtor, the creation of the office of the Supervisor of Insolvency and for related matters.
This new law heralded a comprehensive bankruptcy and insolvency regime, better equipped to meet the needs of a modern commercial society, by:
- providing a fair and more effective legislative and administrative framework to all relevant parties in bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings;
- promoting efficiency and accountability in the administration of estates, thus deterring abuse; and so
- contributing to the promotion of public confidence in the insolvency system of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The insolvency framework under the BIA provides the opportunity for reorganization of indebted businesses and for the restoration of assets to productive use.
Mandate, Role and Functions:
The BIA provides the Supervisor of Insolvency with the mandate to “supervise the administration of all estates and matters to which the Act applies” (Ref: Section 174). Accordingly, without limiting the authority conferred by the BIA, the Supervisor of Insolvency has a general supervisory function over all estates in bankruptcy, commercial reorganizations, proposals and receiverships.
A key role of the OSOI is to ensure that the administrative processes under the BIA are carried out in a fair, transparent and effective manner, with appropriate public records and statistics, and jointly with private sector Trustees licenced by the Supervisor of Insolvency, and with the Courts.
- supervises the administration of all estates and matters to which the BIA applies;
- receives applications for licences by Trustees, issues licences to those qualified to perform such functions and regulates the conduct of Licenced Trustees;
- maintains a public record of all bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings, licences issued to Trustees and notices sent to the Supervisor by Receivers in compliance with their duties under the BIA;
- receives and keeps a record of complaints from any Creditor or other person interested in the estate, and makes investigations into such complaints as appropriate;
- conducts investigations or inspections of estates or other matters to which the Act applies, including the conduct of a Trustee or a Trustee acting as a Receiver or an Interim Receiver and has the right to access all books and records relating to any estate or matter to which the Act applies;
- may chair the first meeting of Creditors to ensure all parties are aware of their rights and responsibilities under the BIA; and
- may intervene in any matter or proceedings in Court, where the Supervisor considers it expedient to do so, as if the Supervisor were a party to the matter or proceedings.
The regulatory, administrative and supervisory functions of the Office of the Supervisor of Insolvency, are derived from statutory law and are carried out independently.
- Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act 2007, Chapter 136 of the Revised Laws of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 2009;
- Bankruptcy and Insolvency (Amendment) Act 2016, Act No. 33 of 2016;
- Bankruptcy and Insolvency (Amendment) Act 2017, Act No. 6 of 2017;
- Bankruptcy and Insolvency Regulations, SRO No. 8 of 2015.
The relevant forms for applications for Trustee licences and other matters under the BIA are contained in the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Regulations. Any queries on any form(s) may be directed to the OSOI using the contact details below.
Licensed Insolvency Trustees
A Licensed Insolvency Trustee is the only professional who is authorized to administer insolvency proceedings, such as consumer and commercial proposals and bankruptcies, pursuant to the BIA.
The OSOI ensures that Licensed Trustees have appropriate knowledge and experience in insolvency before they are eligible for a licence and that they comply with applicable legislation, regulations and directives, which serve to protect the public.
Information on who are Licensed Trustees in St. Vincent and the Grenadines may be obtained by contacting the OSOI.
Complaints against Licensed Insolvency Trustees
If you have concerns about a Licensed Trustee which cannot be resolved, you may file a complaint with the OSOI.
Complaints regarding Misrepresentation and Any Other Complaints
It is an offence for any person not holding a Trustee licence to use the designation “Licensed Trustee” or to act as a Licenced Trustee. Those found to be engaged in such conduct may be subject to summary conviction and liable to a fine, imprisonment or both. To file a complaint about someone misrepresenting themselves as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, or any other complaint regarding matters falling under the BIA, please contact the OSOI.