The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is mandated under the Financial Services Authority Act 2013, to supervise, regulate and monitor compliance with the non-bank financial services business carried on in or from within Seychelles which serves to ensure the integrity, effectiveness and development of the sector and assist in the prevention or detection of financial crime, including money laundering, financing of terrorism, misconduct, misuse of information, fraud and dishonesty.
In the performance of its functions, the Authority has to take into account the following:
- the protection of the public, investors, clients and potential clients;
- the protection and enhancement of the reputation of Seychelles as a financial service center;
- the reduction of crime and other unlawful activities relating to financial services business.
To achieve this purpose, the FSA has the power to take the following compliance and enforcement actions against any licensee:
- conduct compliance inspections on the business premises of a licensee;
- appoint an examiner to conduct investigations on its behalf;
- issue a directive;
- issue a direction;
- suspension of a fit and proper status of an individual;
- issue public statements;
- revocation or suspension of licence;
- application for a protection order (including the appointment of an administrator);
- removal of any director, key employee or officer of a licensee;
- impose an administrative penalty;
- request for information and production of such records or documents by a licensee.
- Initiation of legal action against licensees for commission of offences.
The FSA, being the regulator for Fiduciary Services, Capital Markets, Collective Investment Schemes, International Trade Zone, Insurance, Gambling and Hire Purchase and Credit Sale businesses, is also equipped with the necessary compliance and enforcement tools under the relevant financial services legislation.
Unauthorised financial services business
Any person wishing to carry on any financial services business in Seychelles under the relevant financial services business legislation must be properly licensed or registered. Any illegal conduct of regulated business is a punishable offence under the relevant financial services legislation.
The FSA, under the FSA Act, can take the following actions where it appears that any person is carrying on, or has carried on unauthorised financial services business:
- Request specified information or documents from the person believed to be carrying on, or to have carried on, unauthorised financial services business;
- Appointment of an examiner to conduct an investigation into the matter;
- Issuance of a public statement;
- Application for a protection order.
The Authority has powers under the Financial Services Authority Act, 2013 to issue public statements regarding any matters where the Authority is entitled to take enforcement against a licensee or former licensee and setting out the reasons for the enforcement action.
Public statements can also be issued with regards to any person who is carrying on, or has carried on unauthorised financial services business, any person who falsely holds himself out as a licensee and any matters which the Authority considers desirable for the protection of the public, protection and enhancement of the reputation of Seychelles as a financial services center and the reduction of crime and other unlawful activities relating to financial services business.
Revocation and Suspension of licence
The Authority may, if it is entitled to take enforcement action against a licensee revoke or suspend a licence.
A licence can be revoked or suspended where it appears to the Authority, inter alia, that:
- the licensee has contravened or is in contravention of the FSA Act, or any other financial services legislation or any code or guideline issued by the Authority;
- the licensee has contravened or is in contravention of the Anti-Money Laundering Act or any other laws of Seychelles;
- the licensee is carrying on or is likely to carry on business in a manner detrimental to the public interest or to the interest of clients, creditors;
- a licensee or another relevant person has refused or failed to cooperate with the Authority on an inspection conducted by the Authority undersection 24;
- the licensee has provided the Authority with false, inaccurate or misleading information, whether on making an application for a licence or subsequent to the issue of the licence.
Surrender of licence
A licensee may, at any time, surrender its licence by giving prior notice in writing to the Authority.
The notice should provide a true and full disclosure of the reasons to satisfy the Authority why the licensee wants to surrender the licence, the date on which the termination is to be effective, the measures taken by the licensee for the discharge of its liabilities and transfer of the business of the clients and such other matters as may be required by the Authority.