SIBA was established 21 years ago in 1995 to regulate and license offshore activities. Like many other regulatory bodies, the SIBA is also run by an Executive Board. The Board is mixed and consists of members from the government as well as from the private sector. The organisation promotes Seychelles as a global financial center.
SIBA is the official registrar of international companies who seek to work overseas. SIBA is one of the fastest registry bodies with very short and uncomplicated administrative procedures that enables companies to become official within just one hour. It draws many international companies that want to skip the lengthy and exhausting bureaucracy procedures.
SIBA recently assumed a new role in the business financial market as the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA) replaced the Central Bank of Seychelles on that matter. Established in 2013, the institution is relatively new. The main responsibilities of the FSA are licensing and monitoring of the non-bank financial market sector in the Seychelles alongside registration of international companies, foundations, limited partnerships, etc.
The rearrangement of SIBA is a welcoming change and is expected to enhance international cooperation and financial dealings. The FSA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with each of its stakeholders, i.e. the Central Bank of Seychelles, Seychelles Investment Board and the Fair Trading Commission.
The FSA organizes conferences and seminars in Europe and Asia to attract investors and to familiarize them with the latest happenings in the Seychelles financial market. They have a specific interest to attract Russia and China, who are widely-known as powerful and open-hand investors.
Forex Brokers, SIBA, and FSA
In its initial form, SIBA did not directly regulate Forex brokers, who are now under the supervision of the newly formed SIBA FSA. This means that Forex brokers were regulated by the Central Bank of Seychelles until recently and are now in the hands of FSA.
As in Europe and America, FSA or SIBA regulated Forex brokers are obliged to undergo specific regulations and abide by laws related to the financial market. The national authorities make an enormous effort to make Seychelles a recognizable off shore business port to boost economic growth which heavily depends on importing new businesses.
Forex Brokers in Africa are Different
The American and European Forex broker companies are hard to compete with. They are well-regulated either by governmental or private self-regulatory agencies and secure trust and integrity in the unsteady market.
The Seychelles do not employ what we call traditional regulatory methods, and they lag somewhat behind the active American and European markets. With SIBA FSA still in the infancy phase in Forex trading, the market remains slow. This does not mean that there are no Forex traders at all, just that they are small in number.
For example, SIBA does not offer any perks or incentives for companies who would like to register in Seychelles. Therefore, the widely-known CySEC, FNA, CFTC with a stable reputation and advantages are preferred by companies.
Another unfavorable reason is the geographic destination and the distance. Many look for top locations where they can access the market without limitations, and Africa is not as appealing as Europe, America, or Asia.
SIBA’s Struggle on the Market
SIBA regulated brokers are not that well-known and prominent. Their conditions to establish a well-known reputation are limited, and many people do not trust relatively anonymous companies.
SIBA struggles hard to protect clients and investors, but since taking action against their subject of regulation would affect their revenues, they keep sanctions and penalties to a minimum for financial crimes, manipulation, and malpractice. Investors find it hard to trust brokers who potentially could take their money and walk away with barely a scratch.
Unlike European and U.S. regulatory bodies, the SIBA does not have a professional website. The website lacks much of the crucial information that are vital for the business.
First of all, the website does not provide clear information on law and regulation, which is important to let clients know what is legal and what’s not. Secondly, they do not maintain a list of their member companies with all information on these companies, which makes it hard for investors to deposit money with a broker they have no idea about. However, they warn the public when a company pretends to be SIBA registered and approved.
Professional regulatory agencies also provide educational resources for potential clients to familiarize with the practices in the market. SIBA even lacks platforms and form for complaint resolution, which for example, proved to be very successful in handling complaints in other countries.
Unfortunately, many reliable SIBA regulated Forex brokers will not be chosen just because of all the above mentioned. There is no one to guarantee their reliability and honest trading.
A lot of space is given to malpractice and fraud due to lack of proper regulation, and all the reliable and professional companies are drowning in the system. Many do not dare to look for the needle in a haystack.
SIBA’s regulation policy seems decent; the problem arises only when it comes to enforcement of rules and regulations. SIBA seems weak and cannot enforce fines or laws upon member companies.
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SIBA Registered Brokers
If you are looking for a SIBA registered Forex broker engage in a deep research on your own before choosing one. Despite all the pitfalls, there are decent broker companies registered with SIBA that offer a safe business environment, great trading platforms, and all other top conditions just like any European or Asian broker.
SIBA is relatively new, and maybe in a few years, it will rise to the top, given the efforts of the country to establish an international reputation.
The Seychelles are a fertile ground for investments, and many offshore companies enjoy the market, which means that that Forex trading could transform into one of the main business activities in the country. From 1995 up to now, 140,000 international businesses opened their offshore branches in the Seychelles. SIBA also regulates around 1,000 trusts and 300 foundations from overseas.
Seychelles makes an effort to harmonize its legislation concerning the off shore sector with international standards especially regarding taxes.
SIBA is a long-standing institution and will probably ensure a safe Forex market for all interested parties given little time.