Communiqué No 4 of 2020 – Update on the COVID-19 Situation – Resumption of normal office hours

In line with the recent developments and announcements made by the Seychelles Department of Health concerning the extension of duration of the Orders issued by the Public Health Commissioner, including but not limited to, the Infectious Disease (Prohibition of Outdoor Movement) Order to May 4th, 2020 the Financial Services Authority (“FSA”) has revised the strengthened measures put in place with regards to its day-to-day operations, specifically with respect to its office opening hours. 

Kindly be informed that as from Monday May 4th, 2020 the FSA will be resuming its normal opening hours where its offices will be open following the closure enforced as a result of the Orders issued by the Public Health Commissioner.

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Communiqué No 2 of 2020 – FSA Statement regarding COVID-19 for the Insurance Sector

In order to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Seychelles Government has announced considerable restrictions on the movement of people to prevent the spread of the virus as well as minimizing the impact on business activities required for our country’s economy. The announcements have highlighted that only entities necessary to provide “essential services” are permitted to operate.

Therefore, the Seychelles Government has designated that services such as insurance companies and intermediaries are deemed essential in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic to help protect our country by ensuring the well-being of the population.

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Communiqué No 1 of 2020 – FSA Statement regarding COVID-19

The Financial Services Authority (“FSA”) is continuously monitoring the COVID‐19 outbreak and its effects on its operations as well as on the operations of the different licensees, market participants and sectors under its purview. It is important to note whilst the situation concerning the global pandemic continues to evolve at a rapid pace, the health and wellbeing of our staff, licensees and stakeholders and their families remain an absolute priority for the FSA. 

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Circular No 2 of 2020 – Certificate of Approval of employees under the Seychelles Gambling Act

This Circular is being issued to all licensees under the Seychelles Gambling Act, 2014 (“the Act”) following the enactment of the Seychelles Gambling (Fees) Rules, 2020. Section 31(1) of the Act stipulates that “the holder of a licence under this Act shall not employ any person in his or her business of gambling unless such person is a holder of a certificate of approval issued by the Authority”. As such, the Financial Services Authority (“the Authority”) has finalized the application form for a Certificate of Approval, whereby all employees working in the business of gambling needs to possess a certificate of approval issued by the Authority under Section 33(2) of the Act.

As specified under section 31(2) of the Act, the Authority may specify, by rules, any occupation to be an occupation for the purposes of section 31(1) and may classify the employees as key employee and other employees. Consequently, in line with Seychelles Gambling (Fees) Rules, 2020, employees are classified as follows:

  1. “Key employee” (employee with managerial function) is an employee taking up any management position within the gambling licensed premises, such as Financial Controller, Casino or Slot Machine Manager, Floor Manager, Human Resource Manager, Surveillance and Security manager.
  2. “Other employee” (employee without managerial function) is an employee whose work is directly involved with the gambling floor area such as pit boss, cashier, surveillance, dealers, etc.

Applications for a Certificate of Approval must be accompanied by the applicable fee set out in the Seychelles Gambling (Fees) Rules, 2020

Effective 1st March, 2020, licensees are required to submit a duly completed application form for a Certificate of Approval of each employee that falls under the aforesaid classifications with the appropriate supporting document and application fees

Licensees have until 31st December, 2020 to complete this exercise for their existing employees except for employees covered under second paragraph of section 31(1).

As such, employees currently in continuous employment and were employed by licensees before the enactment of the Seychelles Gambling Act, 2014, that is 19th January 2015, will not be subjected to this circular until such time that a new law comes into force.

However, this will not apply to foreign employees that remain in continuous employment as upon renewal of the Gainful Occupation Permit (GOP), this circular will apply.

Please note that the Circular No. 5 of 2019, dated 26th December, 2019, must be read in conjunction with this circular.

The Authority will only process complete applications. Applications that are deemed to be incomplete will be returned to the applicant. Applicants will have a period of 1 month for resubmission of the application.

Applications not re-submitted within the 1-month cut-off period will be considered as void and a new application would have to be lodged along with payment of the required application fee, should the applicant remain interested in proceeding further with the application. The holder of a licence under this Act needs to exercise its own employee due diligence test and to submit the application of the prospective employee.

Financial Services Authority

Circular No 1 of 2020 – Policy decision in relation to Outsourcing of Compliance Function

This Circular is being issued to all licensees under the Securities Act, 2007 and the Mutual Fund and Hedge Fund Act, 2008.

Taking into consideration that compliance is a core function of a licensee’s operation and as an initiative to promote the growth of the Capital Markets and Collective Investment Scheme’s sectors, the Authority is publishing its “Code on Outsourcing of Compliance Function” to be adhered to by the relevant licensees when outsourcing their compliance function to third parties. Currently, the Financial Services Authority Act, 2013 permits the outsourcing of compliance function only to individuals.

In view of the proposal to allow outsourcing of the compliance function and to further legal advice received, please note that the Authority is not in a position to proceed with the concept of “Trainee Compliance Officer” as the basis for such concept is outweighed with the “Code on Outsourcing of Compliance Function”.

Therefore, licence applications which have been approved in principle (but not yet licensed) and newly licensed by the Authority to appoint a “Trainee Compliance Officer” must appoint a Compliance Officer (either through full-time employment or outsourcing) to perform the compliance function by 1st July, 2020.

However, if an existing licensee is able to demonstrate that its “Trainee Compliance Officer” is on the verge of completing all requirements to be a Compliance Officer (i.e. 3 months remaining to complete the Diploma in either CISI or ICA) the Authority may, in such circumstance, allow the licensee to continue with the “Trainee Compliance Officer” under strict supervision.

Financial Services Authority

Revocation of international corporate services licence (ICS086), international trustee services licence (ITSO39) and foundation services licence (FS018) held by Valsen Fiduciaries (Seychelles) Limited

The Financial Services Authority, hereby gives notice to the general public pursuant to section 28(2)(c) of the Financial Services Authority Act, 2013 (“FSA Act”) that the above mentioned licences held by Valsen Fiduciaries (Seychelles) Limited have been revoked pursuant to section 29(1) of the FSA Act, effective January 8th, 2020.

Therefore, note that effective January 8th, 2020, Valsen Fiduciaries (Seychelles) Limited no longer holds the above mentioned licences.

Financial Services Authority
Bois De Rose Avenue
P.O Box 991
Victoria, Mahe
Seychelles

Circular No 4 of 2019 – Amendment in Gainful Occupational Permit Procedures in relation to licensees under the International Corporate service Providers Act, Mutual Fund and Hedge Fund Act and Securities Act

This Circular is being issued to all licensees under the International Corporate Service Providers Act, 2003, Mutual Fund and Hedge Fund Act, 2008 and Securities Act, 2007.

In its effort to streamline processes and to improve the service delivery standard in respect to the processing of Gainful Occupational Permit (“GOP”) applications (initial GOP applications of individuals proposed to be employed within the sector and any other applications submitted thereafter), the FSA has consulted the Ministry of Employment, Immigration and Civil Status (“Ministry”) in order to devise a more efficient manner in processing such applications, whereby the following has been agreed by the FSA and the Ministry

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Circular No 5 of 2019 – Amendment in Gainful Occupational Permit Procedures in relation to licensees under the Seychelles Gambling Act

This Circular is being issued to all licensees under the Seychelles Gambling Act, 2014.

In its effort to streamline processes and to improve the service delivery standard in respect to the processing of Gainful Occupational Permit (“GOP”) applications (initial GOP applications of individuals proposed to be employed within the sector and any other applications submitted thereafter), the FSA has consulted the Ministry of Employment, Immigration and Civil Status (“Ministry”) in order to devise a more efficient manner in processing such applications, whereby the following has been agreed by the FSA and the Ministry:

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ADVISORY IN RESPECT TO ENTITIES CLAIMING TO BE LICENSED OR REGULATED BY THE FINANCIAL SERVICES AUTHORITY

Issued August 30th 2019

This advisory is issued by the Financial Services Authority (“FSA”) pursuant to section 4(1) m of the Financial Services Authority Act, 2013 (“FSA Act”) and is addressed to the general public and to potential investors in respect to the scope of the FSA’s regulatory function.

Circular 3 of 2019 – Complaints in respect to specified entities being subjected to fees agreed between ICSPs and a third party

This circular aims at addressing practices observed in respect to specified entities  being subjected to fees agreed between a licensee under the International Corporate Service Providers Act, 2003 (“ICSP Act”) and  a third party.

As part of its function as the Regulator of non‐bank financial services being provided in or from within Seychelles, the Financial Services Authority (“FSA”) is mandated to protect the interest of the public in accordance with relevant legislations. The FSA’s purview also extends to the review of complaints against licensees to ensure that all licensees are operating in accordance with their obligations under the relevant legislations.

In undertaking its function in that regard, the FSA has observed an increase in complaints relating to specified entities being subjected to fees agreed between a licensee under the ICSP Act and a third party (in a majority of cases being Foreign Regulated Persons as defined by the Anti‐Money Laundering Act, 2006), whereby the specified entity had not been made aware nor agreed to such fees.

At this juncture, the FSA deems it necessary to inform all licensees that in line with the principle of privity of contract, the FSA’s position is that unless licensees are able to demonstrate that specified entities had been made aware and agreed to such fees, it shall not be subjected to same.

Therefore, for clarification purposes, note that licensees under the ICSP Act shall not refuse to provide the consent required per section 169(3) of the International Business Companies Act, 2016 for non‐payment of fees (including but not limited to transfer/exit fees) unless otherwise previously agreed by the licensee and specified entity through a service level agreement or any other documented method.

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Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles

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