Licensing Policy

The Isle of Man Financial Services Authority’s (“the Authority’s”) Licensing Policy for Regulated Activities under the Financial Services Act 2008 ("the licensing policy") sets out the criteria that applicants must satisfy to be successful in securing and retaining a financial services licence. The Authority will not issue a licence unless it is satisfied that the licence applicant, including the persons associated with it, is a fit and proper person to undertake the regulated activity.

The fit and proper test is both an initial test at the time of granting a licence and a continuing test in relation to the conduct of regulated activities. The test takes into account integrity, financial standing and competence. Further details on fitness and propriety can be found in the Regulatory Guidance – Fitness and Propriety.

The licensing policy provides guidance on the key requirements, such as:

  • Real presence - the Authority will not licence a mere shell; the company’s management and control must be in the Isle of Man.
  • Track record - a licence applicant must demonstrate a proven track record in the successful conduct of the regulated activity for which it seeks a licence, either by being part of a group that already undertakes the activity in another jurisdiction or by key persons having operated at a senior level in a relevant licensed business.
  • Staffing – all persons with responsibility for management and control of the business, and other key persons, must satisfy the Authority that they are fit and proper persons.

The licensing policy also explains the acceptability of, and the Authority’s approach to, different corporate entities, ownership structures and management structures. In addition, more specific requirements such as the need for professional indemnity insurance cover and the variations in approach for particular classes of licence are covered.

The Authority has also published a supplementary licensing policy for Class 3 regulated activity. This policy document is additional to the general licensing policy and is directed at licence applicants who wish to provide services to collective investment schemes. Information regarding the Alternative Banking Regime (which introduced Classes 1(2) and 1(3)) may be found in the Deposit Taking Handbook.The full and supplementary licensing policies can be accessed from the links below:

The licensing policies should be read in conjunction with the