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International Financial Services Commission

The non-banking sector of Belizean economy is regulated by the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC). It was established in 1999 with the enactment of International Financial Services Commission Act (enacted to oversee the growing offshore sector in Belize), and includes representatives from both the private and public sectors. The Commission is self-regulating: the government sets overall standards, expecting much of the actual work in terms of monitoring and compliance to be done in frames of the industry itself.

Being the regulator of the offshore industry, IFSC covers many services such as international business companies (IBCs), mutual funds, international insurance and trusts.

The IFSC considers such issues as:

Part of the tasks performed by the Commission was issuing licensing regulations to licence all international financial services providers. The licensing process is designed to sort out the proper persons that are allowed to provide, carry on or transact international financial services in or from within Belize.

IFSC is also developing a statutory Code of Conduct for international financial services providers to ensure compliance with internationally accepted best practices by all services providers.

Recently, IFSC has implemented licensing regulations in order to licence all international financial services providers. The application fee is USD 500. The annual licence fee is USD 2 500.

Belize is an active member of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), so it follows its principles to avoid and fight money laundering and ensure stability in the global financial system. Belize also follows the objectives of the UN Offshore Forum on Money Laundering.