The FSA of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, also known as the Financial Services Authority, is the sole regulator of the country which was founded in 2012 by the parliament. The FSA is in charge of regulating, licensing, and monitoring all the registered non-bank financial institutions, investment firms, forex brokerage companies, and all the other businesses in the financial industry, both within and outside its borders. The establishment of FSA has also merged 3 regulatory authorities, i.e., the International Financial Services Authority (IFSA), the Cooperatives Division of the Ministry of National Mobilization, Social Development, et al and the Supervisory and Regulatory Division within the Ministry of Finance. The FSA was founded with a clear objective, to improve the non-bank financial services sector in all of St. Vincent and the Grenadines under the Financial Services Authority Act, No. 33 of 2011. The FSA is to make sure that specific enactments, regulations, and guidelines are followed to the letter; that is to say, the soundness of all the licensees in terms of the required capital and all the other financial activities. In other words, in certain cases, FSA could step in to address the issue between customers and licensees for providing more protection. Furthermore, the organization accommodates the IFS and non-banking financial services sectors with adequate and top-notch services as well. The involvement of FSA also includes providing internationally verifiable info which could have a significant effect on the financial services sector. Additionally, the supervisory entity (FSA) manages international initiatives such as OECD, as an appointed representative of the Minister. It should be noted that FSA is a member of several international entities such as the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Center (CARTAC), Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), Caribbean Association of Insurance Regulators (CAIR), Caribbean Group of Banking Supervisors (CGBS), Caribbean Association of Pension Supervisors (CAPS), International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank.
The FSA must see to it that all the non-bank licensees are properly regulated, periodically monitored, and their business dealings are conducted above board as mandated by the laws and regulations. The FSA feels responsible for public awareness in terms of the risks involved, the stability of the country’s economy, and promoting public trust in the authenticity and integrity of all the FSA registered members. For that reason, FSA sticks to the international standards when it comes to the legality of institutions’ financial activities – entities such as IFRS, CAMELS, PEARLS, and BASEL. As a part of its responsibilities, FSA regularly reviews the financial and operational conditions of registered institutions to make sure that all the requirements are met according to the laws and regulations. These examinations include, and are not limited to, regulatory reports, financial statements, regular trend analysis, and qualitative risks assessment. These on-site and off-site measures are taken to spot any financial malpractice in advance and also to ensure that the licensees are running a clean institution in terms of profitability, capital requirement, the authenticity of accounting records, investment matters, and risk tolerance.