FSA (Financial Services Authority of Seychelles)
Considered a mere dummy regulator by many Forex traders during its early days, the Seychelles Financial Services Authority made some progress since then. It is no longer fair to say that a Forex broker regulated by the Authority is no better than an unregulated one. However, as you will see below, the FSA of this African country has still a long way to go to achieve the high reputation and customer protection levels pertinent to the developed world's financial regulators.
The Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA) is in charge of the country's regulation of all non-banking financial companies and individuals offering financial services. In that capacity, it also regulates online Forex brokers registered in Seychelles. The FSA replaced the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA) in 2014. Its operation is based on the Financial Services Act, 2013.
Mandate of the Seychelles FSA
- Supervise, monitor, and regulated licensed entities.
- Administer the registry legislation.
- Promote legal, regulatory, and supervisory mechanisms for efficient regulation of the industry.
- Inform and educate general public about the financial services industry.
- Take action against unauthorized financial service providers.
Who should get licensed by the Seychelles FSA?
- Fiduciary service providers
- Capital markets: securities exchanges, securities facilities, securities dealers (and their representatives), investment advisors (and their representatives).
- Fintech companies
- Insurance companies
- International Trade Zone companies
- Gambling companies
- Hire purchase and credit sales businesses
Licensing requirements according the FSA
Any company doing business as a currency trading broker in Seychelles without obtaining a license from the FSA, is liable to a fine of US$200,000.
- The minimum paid-up capital for a Forex broker is $50,000.
- Proof of physical place of office. At least two Seychelles residents appointed as directors.
- A company must submit a detailed business plan, proposed conflict of interest policy, internal operations manual, client service agreement, anti-money laundering manual, complaints handling manual, and business continuity plan to get an approval from the FSA.
- Business insurance is a must.
- Audited financial statement has to be provided on application and then annually.
- At least one of the company's employees should be a licensed securities dealer representative.
- The FSA may use significant level of discretion when granting or refusing a license, judging the personal and business reputation of the applicants, financial status, education, and competence.
- There is a $1,500 application fee and $3,000 annual fee involved. If all application documents are submitted correctly, it takes up to 30 days for the FSA to approve a new license.
Powers at the Seychelles FSA's disposal
- Issue directions.
- Request information or documents.
- Revoke a license. In January 2021, the Seychelles FSA revoked the securities dealer license of Aronex Corporation Ltd due to regulations breaches.
- Impose further conditions.
- Appoint a person to advise on proper business conduct.
- Appoint a person to assume the control of the business affairs.
- Temporarily suspend a license.
The Seychelles FSA may be an attractive regulator from brokers' point of view due to low costs, fairly simple rules, and the country's very low taxes, but the jurisdiction seems to be severely lacking in terms of the actual oversight and customer protection. As evidenced by the lack of enforcement actions taken against the FSA-regulated FX brokers, the authority looks to be fully committed to its watchdog role.
If you want to share your opinion, observations, conclusions, or to ask a question regarding the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA), feel free to start a discussion on our Forex forum.