Public statement in respect of Wilton (IOM) Limited and the revocation of its licence to carry on certain regulated activities under the Financial Services Act 2008

Wilton (IOM) Limited (“Wilton”) (Company No: 093927C)


1 Action


1.1 The Isle of Man Financial Services Authority (“the Authority”) makes this public statement in accordance with powers conferred upon it under section 13 of the Act. The Authority believes it to be desirable in the public interest to issue such public statement.


1.2 The making of such a public statement supports the Authority’s regulatory objectives of, among other things, securing an appropriate degree of protection for customers of persons carrying on a regulated activity, reducing financial crime and maintaining confidence in the Isle of Man’s financial services industry and supporting the Island’s development as an international financial centre.


1.3 Following a number of failings within and by Wilton, the Authority has determined that it is reasonable, appropriate, necessary and proportionate in the circumstances to revoke the licence of Wilton in its entirety under section 9(1) of the Act. The date of the revocation of its licence was 24 January 2024.


2 Background


2.1 Wilton has been licensed by the Authority to undertake certain Class 4 and Class 5 regulated activities since 1 January 2009. It previously held a licence issued by the then Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission pursuant to the CSP Act 2000.


2.2 The decision of the Authority to revoke the licence issued to Wilton in its entirety was made for the following reasons:-


a. Wilton was conducting regulated activities without Professional Indemnity Insurance in breach of Rule 8.57 of the Financial Services Rule Book (2016) (“the Rule Book”), its previous Professional Indemnity Insurance cover having expired on 29 December 2023. According to the report from the Interim Receiver of Wilton dated 10 January 2024 (“the Report”), the Interim Receiver did not have sufficient funds to pay the required premium or excess required in order for Wilton to obtain new Professional Indemnity Insurance cover despite attempts by Interim Receiver to obtain a capital injection into the business. Rule 8.57 requires licenceholders to maintain continuous professional indemnity insurance, appropriate to the nature and scale of its business. The Authority has determined to revoke Wilton’s licence in order to secure an appropriate degree of protection for the customers of Wilton in accordance with the Authority’s regulatory objectives;


b. as at the time of the revocation of its licence, Wilton had no operational staff (save for its two directors). Wilton had not had a Head of Compliance (“HOC”) since 24 February 2023 or a Deputy Money Laundering Reporting Officer (“DMLRO”) since 22 March 2023. Furthermore, the director, who was also Wilton’s Money Laundering Reporting Officer (“MLRO”) was unable to fulfil their roles. As a result, Wilton had no regulatory compliance or financial crime prevention function. As a consequence, Wilton was in breach of both Rule 8.2 and Rule 8.21 of the Rule Book;


c. according to the Report, the financial position of Wilton and its operations significantly deteriorated and Wilton was, in the opinion of the court-appointed Interim Receiver, both cash flow and balance sheet insolvent, putting it in breach of Rule 2.25 of the Rule Book. The Interim Receiver, appointed in respect of Wilton, had also been unable to obtain full access to Wilton’s records or those of its clients. The two directors of Wilton provided minimal assistance to the Interim Receiver in order to facilitate his full access to these systems as well as all of Wilton’s accounting and client records;


d. Wilton’s auditor withdrew his audit opinion and, as a consequence, Wilton was in breach of Rule 2.10 of the Rule Book as it had failed to submit audited accounts to the Authority for the year ended 30 April 2023;


e. the Interim Receiver, in the Report, notes that, taken collectively, these circumstances have had a severe operational impact on Wilton’s ability to continue to operate effectively as a regulated entity. The Authority has concluded that Wilton does not have the required resources to sustain ongoing licence requirements;


f. the Authority concluded that permitting Wilton to continue to be licensed under the Act would present a significant threat and risk to the Authority’s regulatory objectives; and


g. furthermore, the Authority has determined, that to allow Wilton to continue to hold a licence issued by the Authority and to undertake regulated activities in and/or from the Isle of Man would have a significantly detrimental effect on the maintenance of confidence in the Isle of Man’s financial services industry and its development as an international financial centre.


3 Statement


The Authority is satisfied that the revocation of Wilton’s licence in its entirety under section 9(1) of the Act reflects the serious nature of the failings of Wilton and believes that it is desirable in the public interest to issue this statement. Furthermore, in light of the seriousness of those matters detailed herein, the Authority is of the opinion that immediate action and publication of this statement is necessary, as permitted in accordance with section 13(6) of the Act.