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Important information for Companies or Individuals involve in Banking, Insurance or Brokerage. Certain laws prevail for setting up Offshore Companies and Offshore Bank Accounts that deal in the above industries.

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No person is to carry on, or hold himself out as carrying on, any finance business in or from within the Federation unless he is for the time being authorised under the Financial Services (Regulations) Order, 1997 ("the Order"). "Finance business" is defined in the Order as being -

  • Deposit-taking business;
    (e.g. bankers, financiers, etc.)
  • Investment business;
    (e.g. stockbrokers, operators of collective investment schemes, etc.)
  • Insurance business;
    (e.g. insurers)
  • Assurance business;
    (e.g. insurance agents, insurance brokers, insurance managers, etc.)
  • Trust business; or
    (e.g. professional trustees, protectors, etc.)
  • Corporate business,
    (e.g. nominee shareholders, professional directors, etc.)

carried on for profit or reward in or from within the Federation.

However, persons carrying on the following finance business (defined as "domestic business" in the Order) are not governed by the Order and must be licensed under the Banking Act or the Insurance Act, as appropriate -

  • Deposit-taking business conducted exclusively in XCD and any other deposit-taking business when deposits are taken from, or moneys are lent to, persons resident in the Federation;
  • Investment business conducted exclusively in XCD and any other investment business when the investment represents a claim on persons resident in the Federation;
  • Insurance business conducted exclusively in XCD and any other insurance business when the contract is in respect of the life, safety, fidelity or insurable interest (other than in respect of property) of a person who at the time of effecting the contract is resident in the Federation, or property that at the time of effecting the contract is in the Federation or, in the case of a vehicle, vessel, aircraft or other movable property, is ordinarily based in the Federation (but does not include re-insurance business);
  • Assurance business when such business is conducted exclusively on behalf of an insurer who is carrying on domestic business.

This page contains information relevant to finance business, which are not domestic business.

Financial Resources

No authorisation will be granted under the Order unless the person applying for the authorisation has the following minimum financial resources -

  • in the case of deposit-taking business, net assets in the minimum sum of -
  • USD 500,000 or its equivalent in other currencies for an authorisation to undertake unrestricted business and restricted business;
  • USD 50,000 or its equivalent in other currencies for an authorisation to undertake restricted business but not unrestricted business;
  • in the case of investment business, net assets in the minimum sum of -
  • USD 400,000 or its equivalent in other currencies for an authorisation to undertake unrestricted business and restricted business;
  • USD 40,000 or its equivalent in other currencies for an authorisation to undertake restricted business but not unrestricted business;
  • in the case of insurance business, net assets in the minimum sum of -
  • USD 300,000 or its equivalent in other currencies for an authorisation to undertake long-term insurance business and general insurance business;
  • USD 200,000 or its equivalent in other currencies for an authorisation to undertake long-term insurance business but not general insurance business;
  • USD 100,000 or its equivalent in other currencies for an authorisation to undertake general insurance business but not long-term insurance business;
  • in the case of trust business, net assets in the minimum sum of -
  • USD 200,000 or its equivalent in other currencies for an authorisation to undertake unrestricted business and restricted business;
  • USD 20,000 or its equivalent in other currencies for an authorisation to undertake restricted business but not unrestricted business;
  • in the case of any other finance business -
  • net assets in the minimum sum of USD 100,000 or its equivalent in other currencies; or
  • a professional indemnity insurance in respect of the activities of the applicant and extended to include the activities on behalf of the applicant or of his agents, if any, placed with an insurer approved by the Minister of Finance, and for an indemnity in the minimum sum of USD 100,000 or its equivalent in other currencies for any one loss; or
  • a guarantee in the minimum sum of USD 100,000 or its equivalent in other currencies given under seal by a holding company of the applicant approved by the Minister of Finance, provided always, that any guarantee which may be given under this sub-paragraph shall only be effective if it expressly provides that its formal validity, its essential validity, its interpretation and effect and the rights and obligation of the parties to it are governed exclusively by the law of the Federation and that the Court only shall be the forum for these purposes.
  • "restricted business" is defined in the Order as being deposit-taking business, investment business or trust business undertaken exclusively for persons listed in any undertaking accompanying the application for the relevant authorisation and "unrestricted business" is to be construed accordingly.
Other Conditions

Every authorisation is subject to the conditions that the authorised person -

  • maintains at all times the minimum financial resources specified in the preceding chapter;
  • informs the Minister of Finance by notice in writing of any change, or proposed change, in the information contained in, or supplied in connexion with, the last application for an authorisation;
  • carries on business only in accordance with the information referred to in the preceding paragraph and such changes as the Minister of Finance may have approved.

The Minister of Finance may prescribe such conditions as he thinks fit applicable either generally to all authorised persons or to a class of authorised persons and may attach conditions to the authorisation of any particular person and may from time to time vary any general condition, any condition applying to a class of authorised persons or any condition attached to an authorisation or prescribe or attach a new condition.

Every authorisation under the Order will, unless previously revoked, expire on the anniversary date in the next following year of the date on which it takes effect.

Disclosures

An authorised person must within 3 months of the end of each of his financial years -

  • prepare annual accounts in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, audited by an independent auditor;
  • deliver to the Director General the annual accounts together with written confirmation from an independent auditor that the annual accounts have been prepared as required under the preceding paragraph and whether or not the auditor's certificate for such accounts is unqualified and if qualified, the nature of the qualification;
  • deliver to the Director General a certificate of compliance issued by an independent auditor that the information set out in the application for an authorisation, as modified by any subsequent notification of change, remains correct and gives an accurate summary of the business of the authorised person; and
  • deliver to the Director General such other documents as are mentioned in the Order.
Supervision

The supervision of finance business is entrusted to the Director General of the Financial Services Department of the Ministry of Finance.

Except for the purpose of the performance or exercise of his duties or functions under the Order or when lawfully required to do so by the Court or under the provisions of any other law, the Director General or any person appointed to assist him shall not disclose any information relating to any application under the provisions of the Order, or to the affairs of an authorised person or of any client of an authorised person which he has acquired in the performance or exercise of such duties or functions under the Order.

Government Fees

Fees for the authorisation to carry on:

a deposit-taking business -

  • on filing of first application (not refundable) - for all applications, USD 1,000
  • on granting or renewal of authorisation for - an unrestricted business, USD 8,000; a restricted business, USD 4,000

an investment business -

  • on filing of first application (not refundable) - for all applications, USD 800
  • on granting or renewal of authorisation for - an unrestricted business, USD 6,000; a restricted business, USD 3,000

an insurance business -

  • on filing of first application (not refundable) - for all applications, USD 600
  • on granting or renewal of authorisation for - an unrestricted business, USD 4,000; a restricted business, USD 2,000

an assurance business -

  • on filing of first application (not refundable) - for all applications, USD 400
  • on granting or renewal of authorisation to -
    an insurance agent, USD 100
    an insurance broker, USD 1,000
    an insurance sub-agent, USD 50
    an insurance manager, USD 3,000
    a principal insurance representative, USD 300

a trust business -

  • on filing of first application (not refundable) - for all applications, USD 200
  • on granting or renewal of authorisation for - an unrestricted business, USD 2,000; a restricted business, USD 1,000

corporate business -

  • on filing of first application (not refundable), USD 50
  • on granting or renewal of authorisation, USD 500
 
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