What Are the New Fees and Capital Requirements Required by Belize's IFSC?

Belize's IFSC has rolled out a series of sweeping changes to its regulatory licensing feeds and capital requirements.

Belize’s International Financial Services Commission (IFSC) has made a number of key changes to its fee requirements for brokers and providers operating in the country, including notable jumps in its minimum capital requirements that look to dramatically reshape the playing field in the country.

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Previously, many financial service providers in Belize had enjoyed relative low capital requirements and very lax licensing fees. Relative to other locales or regulatory jurisdictions in the Western Hemisphere, Belize’s IFSC registered but a fraction of the fees incurred via other regulatory entities.

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As per a new agenda outlined by the regulator, the IFSC application fee has soared to $1000, doubling from just $500. In addition to this price jump, the IFSC also stipulates that the applicable fee must now also accompany a new application and cannot be refunded. Furthermore, this move was also accompanied by an increase in its annual license fee charged by the regulator, to $25,000 from $5,000.

In terms of foreign exchange (FX), commodity-based derivative instruments, and other securities, the minimum capital requirements at the IFSC have collectively grown to $500,000 from $100,000 previously, also a five-fold increase. Despite the staunch changes made to its fee schedule, the IFSC is wasting little time in implementing these changes.

While largely unexpected, brokers and financial service providers will have a little over one month to deal with these new fees and requirements, as the IFSC has allowed a transitional period for existing companies to enforce the new compliance measures lasting until just April 1, 2016.

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