Money Services Businesses
Money Services Businesses
Money Services Businesses (MSBs) are non-bank financial institutions that transmit or convert money, allowing for the transfer of funds between persons in different locales. The MSBs Sector in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). MSBs must also comply with the provisions of the MSB Act, Proceeds of Crime Act, Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Regulations and Anti-Terrorist Financing and Proliferation Act along with the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Code.
MSBs serve as an important public service, which prescribes why strict compliance requirements are imposed. Failing to observe compliance obligations of the business imposed by the above-mentioned statutes can subject the business, its owners, and its employees to potential criminal penalties as well as fines.
Money Services Businesses serve to close the gaps that traditional banking left open, creating an avenue for more timely disbursement of funds. In S. Vincent and the Grenadines two money Services Businesses operate, namely MoneyGram and Western Union. Agencies for these businesses are at various business locations on island.
The legislation governing the Money Service Business activities is the Money Services Business Act Chapter 260 of the Revised Laws of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, 2009.
No person shall carry on money services business in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines without first obtaining a license under Section 5 of the Money Services Business Act No. 27 of 2005.
Pursuant to Section 2 of the Act, “Money Services Business” means-
(a) The business of providing any or all of the following services-
(i) transmission of money or monetary value in any form;
(ii) cheque cashing;
(iii) currency exchange;
(iv) the issuance, sale or redemption of money orders or traveler’s cheques; and
(v) any other services the Minister may specify by notice published in the Gazette; or
(b) The business of operating as an agent or franchise holder of a business mentioned in paragraph (a).
A person who wishes to carry on money services business within St. Vincent & the Grenadines must apply for a license. An application must-
(a) be made in writing to the Authority i.e. Financial Services Authority;
(b) contain the information and particulars set out in Schedule 1;
(c) be accompanied by a certified statement showing that the applicant has a net worth of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) and;
(d) be accompanied by a non-refundable application fee prescribed in Schedule 3.
(e) No license may be granted to an applicant unless the applicant makes a statutory deposit of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) in cash, government securities or any other form approved by the Minister.
Fees Payable to the FSA:
- Application fee $3,000.00
- Annual fee $10,000.00
A license to carry on money services business is valid from the date of first issue until the 31st December of that year and may be renewed by the Authority on payment of the annual fee on or before the 15th day of January of the following year.
Please click here for a complete, current list of Money Services Businesses
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