The Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC) was formally established in December 1993, after the Vanuatu Parliament enacted the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission Act No. 35 of 1993. Previous to this, we were the Registrar of Companies and the Official Receivership Department of the Treasury since 1971 under the then, British Administration and after independence in July 1980, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management.
The VFSC is headed by a Commissioner as its Chief Executive Officer. The Commissioner reports to a Board of Directors appointed by the Honorable Minister of Finance and Economic Management for a term of 3 years. There are seven members comprising two ex-officio members, one member with legal qualification and experience and four others (two of which must possess financial expertise and experience). The Board is currently chaired by Mr. Bill Banitamwata, a prominent local lawyer.
The Commissioner is supported by a Deputy Commissioner. Four departments report to them including Corporate Services, Insolvency, Legal Enforcement and Compliance and Registration.
Corporate Services Department
This department is responsible for the “housekeeping” functions within the VFSC. The department develops sound human resources systems, policies including legislations, practices, organization structures, plans and reporting arrangements not only to facilitate improved individual and organizational performance but also meet statutory obligations and ensure the current and future survival of the Commission. The Deputy Commissioner is acting head of the department. Another 5 staff members involved in IT, accounting and internal administrative support functions report to the Manager.
Insolvency, Legal, Enforcement and Compliance Department
This department is responsible for the Official Receiver function, legal advice on matters affecting the VFSC as well as the follow up of outstanding annual returns and fees and any enforcement action including strike-offs for local companies without assets. At present there are 4 staffs in ILE headed by a Manager.
The Registration Department is responsible for incorporation of companies, charitable associations, trade unions, business names, trademarks, patents and the stamping of instruments. The department currently has 6 staffs, headed by a Manager.