SIBA Regulatory Authority of Seychelles – Can You Trust It?

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Seychelles regulatory authority finds it difficult to prove its worth in the huge pool of Forex market regulatory bodies around the world. It has struggled to set SIBA regulations that attract Forex brokers and traders from different parts of the world.

The regulations adopted by the financial services authority of Seychelles put strict control on the way the financial brokers perform their business to help against fraud and money laundering activities, which is considered the main concern of all traders and brokers alike.

seychelles islands forex

Many classify the SIBA license as minimal against internationally recognized licenses issued by bigger countries. However, despite the fact that Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA) is relatively new, there are serious efforts taken to improve its position.

What Is SIBA License?

Seychelles islands are located in a remote area east of the coast of Africa. The islands have grown to become a destination for offshore financial market brokerage services, due to the lack of regulations that control financial trading.

siba license law

Seychelles International Business Authority was founded in 1995. It was established in a collaboration of governmental agencies and private institutions which was a great idea to make decisions that benefit both sectors, which overall contributes to the country’s economy.

The aim of SIBA was to attract foreign direct investments to Seychelles to open their companies offshore and enjoy tax benefits and an easy business setup structure.

Thus, SIBA was the main regulator for all the firms that work offshore, setting the rules and regulations for the companies working offshore. It has also managed to promote a more transparent and healthy working environment.

The Foundation Of The FSA SIBA

Given the rapid changes in the global financial markets, SIBA had to adapt quickly to address the global developments. This happened by promoting more safety and security on the practices of financial markets to help in the fight against financial crimes.

Later on, Forex brokerage, non-bank financial companies, hedge funds, and other financial services became also regulated by SIBA according to the Financial Services Authority Act of 2013.

SIBA Financial Services Authority was created to closely watch and regulate every non-bank financial activity, in cooperation with the central bank, the Seychelles Investment Board, and the Fair Trading Commission.

In order to regulate these activities, the SIBA FSA regulations are being discussed by the coalition of the central bank, the Seychelles Investment Board, and the Fair Trading Commission through periodic conferences and meetings.

SIBA FSA Regulations

The rules and regulations established by SIBA have evolved from being generic. covering the overall business practices in the islands, to addressing all the financial services provided by companies that are operating in Seychelles.

SIBA strives to uplift its regulations to get on the same level as any other financial service regulator, in order to polish the image of the Islands of Seychelles as a destination for offshore companies.

Developments Of The Regulations

Initially, foreign companies enjoyed the benefits offered by SIBA license from operating offshore offices in the Seychelles islands, as the state facilitated the procedures for opening businesses in Seychelles, and imposed few bureaucratic processes there.

development of regulations

With tax benefits, other privileges, and welfare benefits, it seemed like a good deal for companies to operate in Seychelles. However, with the lack of strict disciplinary regulations, several companies abused that for illicit practices. More companies noticed the gap in the regulations, and Seychelles would become a hotspot for financial scam activities and money laundering practices.

The latest developments in SIBA regulations would place the Seychelles regulatory authority at a higher recognition level, which could be compared to the IFSC of Belize, or even the FSCA by South Africa.

However, the SIBA financial trading license is faced with heavy competition from the already established giants, majorly the FCA by the UK, and the NFA and CFTC of the United States.

The SIBA is fully aware that Forex licenses in the USA, UK, and European countries are more appealing for traders, and to attract more investors for Seychelles, they must make an undeniable proposition that offsets the reputation of the Seychelles regulations.

The Restrictions Of SIBA Forex License

The developments in the SIBA Forex regulations incorporate stricter guidelines in the fight against financial crime and money laundering which became the main concern of all the financial associations worldwide.

SIBA’s financial service authority started to punish every financial firm for any suspected malpractice, or abuse of the trader’s funds, which is strictly observed and controlled by the FSA.

siba forex restrictions

The FSA Forex brokers regulations set low requirements in some aspects which gives the broker freedom to operate and to offer a wider variety of financial services to the traders.

It could be a reasonable decision by the FSA to impose low operating requirements in terms of the use of leverage, segregation of accounts, etc. because that might be the only reason for Forex brokers to operate in Seychelles.

The SIBA regulator is faced with fierce competition, and any implementation of stringent rules is going to push the brokers outside the borders of the islands.

Therefore, the relaxed restrictions on the way the brokers operate are the key to hosting as many FX brokers as possible, besides the fight against fraud and financial crimes.

However, here lies the paradox for the FSA. თhe lack of strict rules can definitely attract more Forex brokers to the country, to operate in the Seychelles islands and enjoy the opportunity to offer more bonuses, higher leverage, and other benefits that are restricted under other licenses.

On the other hand, this does not work for the welfare of the traders, who look for a strict framework that guarantees the security of their funds and keeps them safe against any illicit broker.

Why Forex Brokers Avoid SIBA?

Despite the efforts made by the FSA to enhance the image of the SIBA-regulated Forex brokers as reliable and trustworthy brokers, the SIBA license is still stained by the fact that it is geographically distant, and the rules do not really attract traders for the SIBA brokers.

In addition to that, the lack of deterring mechanism imposeს a threat to the trader’s capital, because the broker cannot be penalized in case of evident illicit activities, which eventually hinders SIBA-regulated brokers from operating beneficially in Seychelles.

It could be reasonable for a Forex broker to go for a popular financial trading license, such as FCA or CySEC since the regulations there are clear and established for a long time now.

Why Forex Brokers Prefer SIBA?

The lack of measurements of control on the SIBA licensed brokers gives the opportunity for the brokers to offer the maximum amount of benefits and bonuses which would attract traders.

forex siba license

Forex brokers registered with SIBA are not required to have a huge operating capital in order to start working and to offer services for traders from Seychelles, besides that, it is considered a tax haven for many corporations around the world.

Seychelles brokers can open accounts for traders starting from a $1 deposit, which could make sense for new traders to see how real-life trade goes, unlike the FCA license that requires a higher deposit.

Also, there are no limits on the number of bonuses and monetary awards that can be offered. This gives the opportunity for the SIBA FX brokers to offer as many awards and prizes as possible to retain their traders and attract new clients.

SIBA regulations do not impose any limitations on the use of leverage, something that many brokers offer, and a lot of traders use to open positions in higher-value markets. The use of leverage is restricted to 1:30 for example according to the FCA license of the UK.

In this regard, SIBA regulated brokers can offer up to 1:3000 leverage to their traders, unlike other licenses that restrict the use of the leverage to 1:30 or 1:50, as a guarantee for the trader not to be in a negative balance situation.

FAQ About SIBA Forex Brokers

Is Forex Trading Legal In Seychelles?

Yes, it is legal and it is totally regulated by the SIBA license and the FSA that regulated all the activities of financial brokers in the country. SIBA established a clear framework to fight against money laundering, as well as any type of fraud or financial crime.

What Is The Minimum Deposit To Trade With A SIBA FX Broker?

Since there are no restrictions on the way SIBA FX broker operations, they can offer accounts starting from $1, which is preferred by many traders, especially the new ones who cannot risk a lot of money. This policy goes different from the minimum deposit regulations of the CySEC or the FSA that requires a comparatively higher deposit.

Does SIBA Allow Brokers To Offer Bonuses?

Seychelle financial regulator does not limit the services provided by the brokers, therefore, a forex broker has the absolute freedom to offer any types of bonuses, as well as any other awards and monetary gifts.

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