Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact officers of the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority (“the Authority”) at an early stage to discuss their proposals for establishing and operating a regulated business in the Isle of Man. These discussions enable the Authority’s officers to give applicants any appropriate guidance where it is sought and to identify any foreseeable difficulties connected with the proposed operation.
Protected Cell Companies (“PCCs”)
On receipt of the application the Executive of the Authority will process the application. This will include a review of the application form and supporting documents, and, if appropriate, discussion with other regulatory bodies. In addition, for controllers and individual officers, the Authority will have to ensure each individual meets the “fit and proper” criteria. For further information on the vetting process please see the “Vetting Guidance” page of the website.
On completion of these enquiries the Executive will make a recommendation to the Board of the Authority (“the Board”) as to whether an authorisation should be granted and detailing any conditions that it may be appropriate to attach to the authorisation. Please note that for this purpose the Chief Executive of the Authority is part of the executive staff, and does not take her place at the licence hearing as a member of the Board.
The Hearing by the Board of the Authority
The applicant will be notified of the recommendation by letter and will be invited to attend the hearing. It is the applicant’s choice whether they wish to attend the hearing.
If the Executive recommends that the authorisation be refused, the applicant will be given the opportunity to seek an adjournment of the hearing in order to arrange for legal representation.
The Executive's recommendation is no more than this. The decision on whether or not to approve an authorisation is made by the Board, who may accept, or reject, the recommendation of the Executive.
On the date of the hearing the Board will hear the submissions of the Executive in support of its recommendation, together with any representations that may have been made by the applicant or his legal representation. They will then withdraw to consider their decision.
The decision of the Board will be notified to the applicant subsequently in writing by the Secretary to the Authority. Reasons will be provided for a negative decision and for the imposition of any conditions.
If an applicant is aggrieved by a decision of the Authority not to approve an authorisation or to attach conditions to an authorisation, it may seek a review by the Financial Services Tribunal.
This Tribunal is set up on an ad hoc basis, and is made up of individuals who are independent of both the Authority and applicant. The Financial Services Tribunal cannot overturn the Authority’s decision but can refer the case back to the Authority for reconsideration based on its findings.
Further details of the procedures of the Financial Services Tribunal can be requested from the Chief Secretary's Office.
Any right of review (e.g. to the Financial Services Tribunal) will be explained to the applicant in the letter communicating the decision of the Board.
Incorporated Cell Companies (“ICC”)
Persons intending to form an ICC, or an incorporated cell of an ICC (an “IC”), may apply to the Authority for provisional authorisation for the ICC or IC. A provisional authorisation does not of itself authorise the ICC or IC, when formed, to carry on insurance business but does indicate that the ICC or IC will become authorised when formed.
The processing of a provisional authorisation or an authorisation for an ICC or IC would follow the same route as outline above.