Seychelles’ financial sector strives to reach EU standards – Moving into the era of innovative products

Identifying ways to improve Seychelles’ financial sector and make it more visible was the focus of a consultation meeting among key partners in the financial services sector on Thursday.

The meeting is part of a collaboration between Seychelles Transparency Initiative (TIS), the EU and the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

“Today, we offer this platform to you as a starting point for knowledge sharing and open dialogue, which we hope will shape the building blocks to help consolidate and grow our financial services, and to always remain compliant to a greater extent with industry requirements,” TIS President Chrystold Chetty said in his opening remarks.

The consultation is part of a wider exercise in the sector which aims to identify weaknesses in the relevant legislation. The exercise also examines the practical challenges of achieving EU tax standards and requirements and proposes solutions to identified and documented weaknesses. At the end of the financial year, there will be proposals for new products for the sector.

Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, was removed from the EU’s blacklist of tax havens at the end of 2021 after a number of amendments and legislations were introduced to ensure compliance with tax haven standards. the EU.

The consultation is part of a wider exercise in the sector which aims to identify weaknesses in the relevant legislation. (Sedrick Nicette, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

The island nation was previously blacklisted by the EU, which was concerned about the territorial tax system adopted in December 2018 as it believed ‘it may facilitate double non-taxation and there may be income which does not are taxed in any jurisdiction”.

Another EU concern was that Seychelles had not achieved a rating that was at least largely compliant in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) global forum on the exchange of tax information with other countries. country.

“While we have to admit that there have been great improvements in the Seychelles context, our stories remain untold and unknown and our offshore sector still bears a harsh tinge from past activities,” Chetty said.

He added that “changes need to be made to enable a healthy environment that will attract good elements from the financial sectors, especially as Seychelles enters the era of innovative financial products.”

Chetty added that “we must be aware of the ever-changing political and regulatory landscape and the continued pressure from our trading partners. Added to this are the findings of the Pandora Papers, the ongoing war in Ukraine and the continued hunt to the assets of Russian oligarchs who have found a way to hide secretly through offshore companies in certain jurisdictions.”

Participants who attended the meeting were able to view a number of presentations and then share their comments. An EU consultant will then present recommendations to the government for future improvements.

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