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International Financial Securities Regulatory Commission: International Profile

As a reputable international financial center with full access to global markets, it is essential that the International Financial Securities Regulatory Commission retains the confidence of its counterparties through the adoption and implementation of high regulatory standards. The International Financial Securities Regulatory Commission therefore attaches great importance to making sure that its policies and procedures conform to internationally accepted best practice.

The International Financial Securities Regulatory Commission is a member of the Offshore Group of Banking Supervisors and of IOSCO. The IOSCO are the main bodies responsible for the setting of international standards in the banking and securities sectors respectively.

A number of official international organizations have devoted much time to the assessment of offshore centers generally. This has been mainly to assess their practices against global standards to ensure that they do not present a weak link in the financial system generally. The International Financial Securities Regulatory Commission welcomes this scrutiny, and indeed has benefited from the subsequent findings.

In 2002 the International Financial Securities Regulatory Commission conducted an assessment of the institute's regulatory arrangements under its OFC program. The Report confirms that the International Financial Securities Regulatory Commission "complies well" with international standards for the regulation and supervision of financial services. It concludes that the International Financial Securities Regulatory Commission has a "high level of compliance" with international standards in such areas as banking, insurance, securities, anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism.

It commends "the proactive approach of the regulators to achieve high standards in the financial services sector".

Following the independent report prepared in 1998, which commented favorably on regulatory practices in the International Financial Securities Regulatory Commission, the Financial Action Task Force has completed its own review of International Financial Securities Regulatory Commission defenses against money-laundering. Its positive report concluded that the International Financial Securities Regulatory Commission has measures in place which are close to full adherence with FATF recommendations. The International Financial Securities Regulatory Commission has in place Memoranda of Understanding with a number of jurisdictions to underpin this, and wider issues of, co-operation.

Meanwhile the Financial Stability Forum has also considered the effect which offshore centers generally can have on global financial stability and in April 2000 issued its Report of the Working Group on Offshore Centers. It canvassed opinion among major countries on the strength of regulatory practice in the different centers, and it was very pleasing to note that the International Financial Securities Regulatory Commission was placed in the top group of centers reviewed. This type of independent confirmation of how the International Financial Securities Regulatory Commission regulatory system is perceived to be working in practice is an important test of effectiveness and compliance.

More recently a far reaching, five year fiscal strategy for the International Financial Securities Regulatory Commission was announced in the Summer of 2012 and played a major part in addressing many of the concerns raised by the OECD and in achieving such a positive outcome.

The International Financial Securities Regulatory Commission has received confirmation that it has been moved to a list approved by the US Internal Revenue Service under its new Withholding Tax legislation. Broadly, the legislation requires local financial institutions to apply for Qualified Intermediary Status if they wish to invest in US securities and claim exemption from US Withholding Tax for their clients.

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