Shareholders in the financial industry discuss compliance with global norms





Around 100 delegates from the financial services sector are attending a three-day workshop on regulatory compliance to ensure that Seychelles remains compliant with international standards and regulations.

The participants include members from the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), various service providers and insurance firms.

The workshop is being conducted by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in collaboration with the International Compliance Association (ICA), a reputable professional membership and awarding body, and is the leading global provider of professional, certificated qualifications in anti-money laundering, governance, risk and compliance and financial crime prevention.

The role of compliance in the financial industry has become increasingly important over recent years and as a result, there has been a push to ensuring all parties in said industry is compliant with local and international regulations.

The board chairman of FSA, Suketu Patel, officially launched the workshop during a ceremony held yesterday at Eden Bleu Hotel.

“The FSA, as a regulatory authority, remains committed in its quest to maintain a high level of service standard and compliance within the field of financial services in the industry, hence why much effort has been contributed towards ensuring consistent adherence to requirements of international standards and regulations to safeguard Seychelles’ credibility as a financial services jurisdiction of good repute and value within the realm of the African continent,” Mr Patel told the attendees.

While talking to the press, Mr Patel further added that the workshop is a start to achieving FSA's objective of establishing set standards for all financial institutions to abide by.

“The participants today are going to receive a basic certificate following their exam and we hope to upgrade their standard to a diploma level in about a year’s time as well as host another workshop for a new batch,” he added.

Mr Patel observed that Seychelles lags behind its competitors such as Mauritius when it comes to creating and enhancing financial legislations but also admitted that relevant authorities are slowly becoming conscious of this and providing their support.

Speaking about the workshop, Jonathan Bowdler, the head of Regulatory Compliance at the International Compliance Training (ICT) and workshop facilitator said that compliance in the financial industry is extremely important and beneficial to Seychelles, especially as a small island state.

“One of the issues small island states suffer from is the lack of human resources; you are competing with the United States, Europe and Asia. Your customers will be looking for products that meet their needs best, how it is delivered, sold and managed - they don’t care whether you are based in New York or Victoria,” Mr Bowler said.

“But what you can do is improve your people through things such as the ICA qualifications and you make the most of what you've got. You try to distinguish yourself a little, and this is where reputation comes in because you are at more risk as a small island of reputational damage than bigger jurisdictions,” he added.

Mr Bowdler will also be meeting the heads of the Guy Morel Institute and the University of Seychelles during his stay for further discussions on future collaboration for the development of the local financial services industry.






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