The Isle of Man is renowned as a well-regulated jurisdiction with robust company law and substance requirements, and a long-standing policy of compliance with global standards.
The Authority makes a significant contribution to the Island’s positive reputation and thriving economy. As a modern, risk-based regulator, our work is driven by the objectives of protecting consumers, reducing financial crime, and maintaining confidence in the finance sector through effective regulation.
The Authority is open, accessible, and collaborative, and provides clear regulatory pathways that enable businesses wishing to establish a presence in the Island to develop their proof of concept, to engage with the application and authorisation processes, and to start up or scale up their activities.
What we regulate
Class 1 Deposit takers
Class 2 Investment businesses
Class 3 Services to Collective Investment Schemes
Class 4 Corporate Services
Class 5 Trust Services
Class 6 Crowdfunding platforms
Class 7 Management/Administration of another licenceholder
Class 8 Money transmission services
Class 9 Credit Unions
- Life assurers
- Non-life commercial insurers
- Non-life captive insurers
- Special purpose vehicles/insurance-linked securities
General insurance intermediaries
Trustees/administrators of retirement benefit schemes
What we register
Our remit includes oversight of AML/CFT compliance for a wide range of businesses:
- Lawyers and accountants
- Tax advisers
- Payroll agents
- Financial leasing and guarantees
- Convertible virtual currency (crypto) businesses
- Estate agents
- Dealer in high value goods
- Safe custody providers
- Specified no-profit organisations
Firms and individuals can apply for licensing, authorisation or registration under the relevant legislation.
Prospective applicants are encouraged to read the legislation, guidance notes and forms published on this website, and to contact us at an early stage to discuss their proposals.
These discussions enable our officers to provide the appropriate support and guidance, and to identify any potential challenges.
Applicants must demonstrate they are financially sound, have the right systems and controls in place, and that they are fit and proper persons to operate in the regulated sector.
We aim to strike a balance between prudence and compliance, and the encouragement and support of innovation.
Our supervision work is risk-based, proactive and event driven.
We develop our knowledge and understanding of a regulated firm through desk-based analysis, the review of supervisory information, meetings and discussions, on-site inspections and thematic reviews.
Our interaction with firms is designed to be proportionate to their size, complexity and the types of activities conducted.
A strong focus is placed on engagement in order to build an open and constructive relationship with firms.
We maintain an ongoing dialogue to keep firms up-to-date with the latest news, guidance and requirements, and to ensure we remain appraised of the firm’s financial position and business activities.
We will take action to address conduct that may adversely affect the integrity or the stability of the Isle of Man’s financial services industry.
Inspections are an essential part of the Authority’s commitment to meeting its regulatory objectives.
In tandem with the development of its supervisory approach, the Authority has enhanced its inspection methodology.
Our guidance provides an overview of how firms are selected for an inspection and what they can expect during the different stages of the process.
The guidance is intended to promote transparency by providing typical timelines and by outlining the expectations placed on firms and the Authority.
It also sets out the requirement for firms to produce a remediation plan, where appropriate, to explain how and when they will address any observations and conclusions arising from an inspection.
We adopt a risk-based approach to regulation, focusing our efforts on those activities that we perceive as posing the greatest risk to our objectives.
The use of enforcement powers plays an important role in fulfilling our objectives. Enforcement action is pursued where proportionate, reasonable and appropriate.
Where regulatory issues are identified, we will work with the firm so that it returns to a compliant position – unless the matter requires an immediate enforcement investigation.
Our remediation tools cover a broad range, from additional reporting, focused inspections, and the use of directions, through to external appointments to gain independent assurance on the strength of controls and effectiveness of a firm’s internal processes.
The Isle of Man is committed to promoting sound practices in respect of financial crime compliance.
Money laundering and terrorist financing are two major risks that threaten economic growth and social stability through the illicit flow of funds and illegal activities.
We have established a dedicated Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Division that is able to support the supervision and oversight of all firms in relation to AML/CFT compliance.
Our team is committed to providing a robust regulatory framework and a safe environment for regulated entities and designated businesses to operate within.
We continue to update AML/CFT guidance, including sector-specific guidance and best practice guides on key and emerging topics.
As the Isle of Man Resolution Authority, our purpose is to protect customer deposits and the stability of the wider financial system in the event a bank fails.
Early intervention, before a failure occurs, can improve the outcome for the bank and its customers, preserving confidence in the financial sector.
Our powers are intended, where appropriate, to protect against the need for immediate winding-up and bank closure, if a bank provides services which are important to the functioning of the Isle of Man economy.
We are continually adapting our approach to embrace creativity and encourage new ways of working.
A dedicated website presence has been created to support the development of fintech innovation in the Island.
Online content provides information about how to submit a licence application, an overview of the legislative framework, and guidance regarding best practice.
It also features a guide to the regulatory sandbox, which offers a way to test financial services products in a live environment, while reducing the potential risks to consumers.
The Authority is sharpening its focus on innovation to support the goal of encouraging more data-driven and digital ways of doing business within a dynamic, appropriately-regulated finance sector.
For example, we are collaborating with the Department for Enterprise to promote the Fintech Innovation Challenge.
As a member of the Global Financial Innovation Network, we also have the ability to monitor and collaborate on fintech developments around the world.
We meet industry associations and professional bodies across the regulated sectors and participate in working groups to address specific developments.
We also work with international standard setters and other regulators to ensure our frameworks meet current requirements.
Effective international co-operation is a powerful tool in preventing the abuse of global financial systems by criminals.
This is particularly important given the international focus of the Island’s regulated businesses.
When we provide information to other authorities, we ensure this is done in accordance with our statutory duty of confidentiality.