Strict requirements could see service providers leave the island
Scottish Life International (SLI) has warned that service providers based in the Isle of Man may be forced off the island because of the extra anti-money laundering requirements required to sell products.
Douglas Law, head of corporate communications at SLI, said: "The Isle of Man regulators may chase some providers off the island if anti-money laundering regulations get more extreme. We would like to see consistency across the board for financial centres. Intermediaries might go down the path easiest for themselves rather than get bogged down in application forms on the Isle of Man."
According to SLI, if anti-money laundering regulations were streamlined across the board, it would get rid of the confusion between centres and make it easier for people to understand.
As previously reported in International Investment's April issue, some providers think the Isle of Man has stricter money laundering regulations than other financial centres. Intermediaries have extra requirements in order to be able to sell from the island. This includes extra information in regard to proof of identity as well as source of wealth.
Previously, Kevin Dean, who heads up Axa's IoM operation has told International Invest- ment that it is becoming more and more awkward to do business there.
Dean said: "We are all keen to assist in the stopping of money laundering but we have got to be very careful that we are actually stopping it rather than stopping legitimate business.
"For example, although we are allowed to accept IFA certificates, we have to know that the IFA has the material to back that up. I can't do that. So, investors have to go through the trouble of certifying a copy of a utility bill. It is so much easier just to go to a Dublin office and sign a certificate that says I've seen all that stuff. Which one would you choose?"
In a bid to help make the rules more consistent among its members Ailo has recently implemented a standard anti-money laundering regulation guideline for its members to follow.
Stuart Fairclough, chief executive of Ailo, said: "The Isle of Man is an issue as it seems to be more onerous than others. It would be helpful if the regulator looked at what Ailo have done and moved towards that. Consistency is important."
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