Crest
Isle of Man Government
Reiltys Ellan Vannin
Isle of Man Government Crest

I.O.M.F.S.A

FAQs

Questions...

Answers...

1Where I hold a pooled client money account for fees and avail myself of the exemption at Schedule 4 (2) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2008, does the exemption extend to disbursements as well?

Yes, the exemption makes it clear that funds are held that represent the advanced payment of fees, this does not constitute business in the regulated sector. The Act does not limit to whom those fees are payable to. This is limited to fees only, such as registry fees, fees for expert witnesses or court fees, it does not extend to funds held to purchase assets such as property or funds held in escrow.

2I am a Lawyer but do not undertake designated business. I do however operate a pooled client money account which appears to fall under the definition of “managing client assets”. Will I have to register?

Whether a business is in the regulated sector by virtue of managing client assets depends very much on what those assets are being managed for:
  • Matters which would not normally be considered to be managing assets belonging to a client:
  • Matters which normally would be considered to be managing assets belonging to a client:
Matters which would not normally be considered to be managing assets belonging to a client:

3If I am not undertaking Designated Business, but I think I might do one day in the future, should I still register?

This will depend on your plans:

4I am a lawyer offering litigation services. I undertake conveyancing (designated business) from time to time but not as a mainstay of my business. Do I still have to register?

where you are undertaking business in the regulated sector, (no matter how infrequently) you must register under the Act. This only applies where the activity is undertaken by way of business. A key indicator of whether a proposed activity is by way of business is whether you receive remuneration or compensation for such activity.

5My friend has asked me to undertake the conveyancing of her house, I am a Manx Advocate working for a firm but not registered in my own right, will I have to register before beginning the conveyancing?

No, this would not appear to be by way of business and so falls outside of business in the regulated sector. If you begin doing this regularly and for a level of compensation, this assessment may change. If you still have doubts, feel free to contact the Authority to discuss the situation.

6A regular and valued customer asks me to undertake conveyancing of his new property. I never do conveyancing normally but as a Manx Advocate this is something I may do. My customer gives me a small “thank you” for my services. At what point does this become “by way of business”.

This is something which would need to be considered on a case by case basis. In general terms where you are simply helping out a customer and that customer gives a small token in thanks, this is unlikely to be considered “by way of business”. If you are providing services in return for an expected fee (even if it’s relatively small) then there is a much stronger argument that this is by way of business.

7I am a Manx Advocate and so may perform conveyancing, I have no plans to do so, but should I register anyway?

If you have no plans to undertake business in the regulated sector you should not register until you are required to do so. Merely having permission or a right to undertake an ordinarily controlled designated business does not require you register.

8I am advertising as a designated business but I haven’t been able to attract any business to date. Do I register now, or wait until I have taken business on?

If you are advertising as a designated business, this would be considered “holding out” under section 7 of the Act. Therefore you would be required to be registered.

9I have inadvertently undertaken designated business without being registered, what should I do now?

If you have been undertaking designated business without being registered, ensure you contact the Authority as soon as possible to correct the position.

10When do I need to have registered by?

The transitional provisions of the Act allow those undertaking designated business prior to the Act coming into force 6 months to register. This deadline is 26 April 2016. Where a business wishes to commence designated business after the Act has come into force, they must be registered prior to commencing business.

11I am looking to undertake designated business after 26 October 2015 but while the transitional phase is still in effect (until 26 April 2016). Do I still not have to apply for registration until the 26 April 2016?

. No, the Act restricts the transitional provisions to those persons undertaking designated business prior to the Act coming into force. If you commence designated business after 26 October 2015, you will be required to be registered beforehand. If you are planning establishing a designated business after 26 October 2015, please make yourself known to the Authority as soon as possible and we will endeavour to prioritise your application.

12In 2013 I registered myself as a potential DNFBP with the Department of Home Affairs, do I need to register again with the Authority?

Yes, the request for registration in 2013 by the Department of Home Affairs was a research gathering exercise in order to ascertain the size of the industry, this is distinct from the requirement to be registered to undertake designated business under the Act. All designated businesses must register with the Authority between October 26 2015 and April 26 2016.

13How can I apply to register if I haven’t got access to a computer?

The application process is all online, if you do not have access to a computer please contact the Authority at your earliest convenience to discuss your options.

14I am currently registered with, or have a practicing certificate from, more than one professional body. Which body will be responsible for my oversight?

During the application process the business will be asked to choose which body they would like to oversee their compliance with the AML/CFT framework. Where there are multiple professional bodies available, the business may choose which one best suits their own needs.

15What happens if I am not a member of a professional body, or a member of a body which has not elected to oversee their members on the Island under the Designated Business (Registration & Oversight) Act 2015 (“The Act”)?

Where a business is not a member of a body to whom the Authority has delegated its oversight powers, the Authority will be responsible for their oversight as the default body.

16I am a member of a professional body the Authority has delegated its oversight powers to. May I still elect to be overseen by the Authority?

Yes, a business may choose to be overseen by the Authority, this may be because the business has a related party which holds a financial services licence or simply because oversight by the Authority is considered to be in the best interests of the business.