The International Financial Services Commission is the regulatory entity in Belize. Also known as the IFSC. It is responsible for financial regulation. It was established in Belize in 1999. The IFSC is the regulatory body for the offshore industry in Belize.
As a regulatory authority, IFSC’s responsibility under the IFSC Act is to promote, maintain and develop Belize as an international financial services center and to regulate the provision of international financial services.
What Are The Responsibilities of The IFSC?
The responsibilities of the IFSC are listed as follows:
- Promoting and developing Belize as a center for international financial services
- Protecting and enhancing the reputation of Belize as an offshore financial center
- Providing appropriate supervision and regulation of international financial services
- Formulating policies and providing advice and assistance to the government on the regulation of such services
- Collecting, storing and disseminating reliable and timely information to interested parties on changes and new trends in these services.
The aim of the IFSC is to protect consumers, enhance the reputation of Belize as an international financial services center and to promote good business practices by good firms.
Belize has become a popular offshore location for forex brokers with some reasons. The tax benefits available in Belize are possibly the biggest advantage. Forex brokers in Belize are not required to pay any tax on earnings outside the country; this is for the benefit of brokers offering online services around the world.
Are IFSC Regulated Brokers Safe?
Many forex brokers use the privilege to run their business offshore from Belize thanks to the IFSC license, which is easier to obtain than for example an FCA license (in the UK).
There are some requirements for IFSC forex brokers to obtain. These are listed below:
- Brokers regulated by the IFSC must have a reasonable level of unimpaired capital. This capital was initially set at $ 100,000, but was recently raised by the IFSC to $ 500,000.
- Brokers have to keep the clients’ funds in segregated accounts.
- They have to issue monthly statements to clients of IFSC regulated businesses.
- IFSC regulated forex brokers have to send monthly reports including details of unimpaired capital, and number and volume of trades.
- IFSC regulated forex brokers have to offer a customer complaints procedure.
The requirements set by the IFSC are basic but it looks like the regulator has been trying to improve itself. The rules are getting a little stricter when we compare to before.