Scam Alert: Exco Invest Securities (Seychelles) Ltd

This notice is issued by the Financial Services Authority of Seychelles (“FSA”) drawing attention to the following website: www.excoinvest.com and the fact that contrary to what is being advertised on this website, the entity known as Exco Invest Securities (Seychelles) Ltd, trading as Exco Invest, is falsely advertising that they are licensed and regulated by the FSA to conduct business as a Securities dealer. Details on the website are as follows:

Website:www.excoinvest.com

License number: SD038

Registration number: 8425493-1

Type of licence: Securities Dealer

Exco Invest Securities (Seychelles) Ltd does not hold a valid license of any type from the FSA Seychelles. The entity is not regulated by the FSA Seychelles, nor has it been in the past.

The FSA Seychelles urges investors and members of the public to exercise extreme caution in respect of Exco Invest Securities (Seychelles) Ltd.

The Financial Services Authority

Surrender of licence of Estera Corporate Services (Seychelles) Limited

Surrender of Estera Corporate Services (Seychelles) Limited’s International Corporate Services Licence

The Financial Services Authority, hereby informs the public, that Estera Corporate Services (Seychelles) Limited (“Estera”), having its registered address at Stevenson Delhomme Suites, Le Chantier, P.O. Box 882, Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles has surrendered its International Corporate Services License pursuant to Section 30 (1) of the Financial Services Authority Act, 2013 (‘‘FSA Act’’) effective on January 31st, 2019.

Circular No 5 of 2020 – Prohibition on employees of insurers to act as sub-agents

The Financial Services Authority (“FSA”) would like to draw the attention of all its licensees under the Insurance Act, 2008(“the Act”), pertaining to various requests made by several insurance companies regarding the eligibility of part-time or full time employees within their organization to act as a sub-agents of the insurer.

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Circular No 4 of 2020 – Applicability of taxes under the Income and Non-Monetary Benefit Tax Act to ITZ operators

The Financial Services Authority (“FSA”) would like to draw the attention of all its licensees under the International Trade Zone Act, 1995(“ITZ Act”)on theirtax liabilities under Income and Non-Monetary Benefit Tax(“INMBT”)Act on emoluments and non-monetary benefits being offered toemployees of ITZ licensees.

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Scam Alert

It has been brought to the attention of the Financial Services Authority (“FSA”) that an entity known as Sandberg Financial LLC,with company number 562839, is falsely claiming to be incorporated in Seychelles as an international business company (“IBC”) by providing its clients with a Certificate of Good Standing allegedly issued by the FSA (formerly the Seychelles International Business Authority), as the Registrar of IBCs.

The FSA hereby informs potential investors, licensees and the general public that the company Sandberg Financial LLC is not an IBC incorporated under the International Business Companies Act, 2016 and does not feature on the FSA’s Register of IBCs.

The FSA strongly advises the public to exercise extreme caution when dealing with this company.

The Financial Services Authority

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

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