The tiny British dependency has long been the preferred destination of online gambling operators, on account of its solid, yet relatively lax regulation concerning this activity. Does any of this translate to the online trading industry though?
While the FSC’s licensing requirements may indeed be more attractive than those of some other national regulators, the administrative status of the territory – with Brexit looming on the horizon – may not ensure the type of market access most brokerages look for.
The stated mission of Gibraltar’s FSC is obviously to provide a regulatory framework that is conducive to good business and fairness towards consumers. The promotion of Gibraltar as a financial hub is also among the stated goals of the regulator.
How exactly does the FSC work towards the accomplishment of these objectives though?
The authority has taken upon itself to promote market confidence, to reduce systemic risk and to raise public awareness.
Consumer protection and the tackling of financial crime are also integral parts of the FSC’s recipe for creating and maintaining a healthy business environment.
To make sure that it is indeed capable of covering its attributes and fulfilling its stated missions, the FSC has set itself a number of strategic objectives.
The first one of these objectives calls for the building-up of the FSC as an acknowledged expert in regulation, by making sure that the commission stays well informed and unquestionable competence-wise.
The focus on public interest should be one of the top priorities of the regulator. Effective cross-border regulation is also part of the FSC package.
The best regulatory practices should be well-balanced with competitiveness, thus ensuring the safe yet sustained development and growth of the financial services industry of the jurisdiction.
The cost-effective nature of the services provided by the regulator is yet another – rather logical – priority. In this regard, the FSC aims to offer an un-bureaucratic authorization-process, which addresses the important risks, thus providing customer protection.
Fair and consistent decisions and a proper appeal-mechanism round out this streamlined process.
The potential risks represented by new entrants (new service-providing entities seeking FSC regulation) are not only assessed from the perspective of consumer protection though. The reputation of Gibraltar is also a major factor in this regard.
Efficiency and accessibility always remain at the forefront though, so it is obvious that what the FSC does is a perpetual balancing act, meant to ensure that all the above objectives are met and that all parties concerned are catered for in a satisfactory manner.
Besides Authorization, Supervision and Enforcement represent the other two arms of the FCS’s regulatory “triad”.
In regards to supervision, the FSC keeps an eye on all types of financial operators, including but not limited to banks, insurance companies, intermediaries and even eMoney issuers. Payment services, investment firms and even auditors are subject to FSC regulation.
Enforcement-wise, the FCS’s focus is on encouraging and facilitating compliance. A credible deterrent is also provided through enforcement actions.
While there aren’t many online brokerages boasting a FSC license these days, the overall profile of this regulator is certainly a healthy and impressive one.
Below is a list of brokers that are FSC regulated