About the Isle of Man

And Regulation in the Isle of Man

The Isle of Man is a self-governing British Crown Dependency centrally located in the Irish Sea between England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.



The Isle of Man has its own government, laws and currency, but is inextricably linked to the UK through our shared history, community bonds and economic partnerships.
The Island was ruled by Norse, Scots and English Kings during the Middle Ages, and by sovereign Lords of Mann from 1406 until 1765, when it was acquired by the British Crown. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, ‘Lord of Mann’, is our Head of State and is represented in the Island by the Lieutenant Governor.


Meeting International Standards

Engaging with the international community on key tax issues has been a priority in recent years. The Isle of Man worked with the OECD to help develop its model Tax Information Exchange Agreement a decade ago, and since then has taken a leading role in this field – earning a place on the OECD’s ‘White List’ of countries complying with the global standard for tax cooperation and exchange of Information.


A series of independent, external reviews over the past decade have acknowledged the Isle of Man as a well-regulated and responsible country with a diverse, successful economy which is nevertheless equipped to deal with turbulent economic times. Assessments by the International Monetary Fund, among other bodies, have confirmed the Island is at the forefront of international efforts to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing.

We will continue to respond to evolving world standards and are progressing a move towards the automatic exchange of tax information on savings, under the EU Savings Directive.


Regulation in the Isle of Man

The Isle of Man Financial Services Authority (“the Authority”) was established by the Transfer of Functions (Isle of Man Financial Services Authority) Order 2015, which was approved by Tynwald in March 2015, with the main provisions of the order coming into force on 1 November 2015. As well as establishing the Authority, the order transfers the functions of the Financial Supervision Commission and the Insurance and Pensions Authority to the Authority.


The functions of the Authority are set out in the Financial Services Act 2008 and the Insurance Act 2008 and include

  • the regulation and supervision of persons undertaking regulated activities in respect of deposit taking, investment business, services to collective investment schemes, fiduciary services and money transmission services, in or from the Isle of Man;
  • the regulation and supervision of persons undertaking regulated activities in respect of insurance and pensions, in or from the Isle of Man;
  • the regulation and supervision of collective investment schemes within the meaning of the Collective Investment Schemes Act 2008;
  • the regulation and supervision of retirement benefits schemes within the meaning of the Retirement Benefits Schemes Act 2000;
  • the maintenance and development of the regulatory regime for all of the above;
  • the conduct of investigations into any potential liability arising from breach of AML/CFT legislation by persons undertaking regulated activities;
  • the oversight of directors and persons responsible for the management, administration or affairs of commercial entities;
  • participation in consultative bodies, working groups and other arrangements;

The work of the Authority is overseen by nine Members appointed by the Treasury, subject to the approval of Tynwald. The Chief Executive is also a Member.


The FSA’s regulatory objectives are:

  • securing an appropriate degree of protection for policyholders, members of retirement benefits schemes and the customers of persons carrying on a regulated activity;
  • the reduction of financial crime; and
  • the maintenance of confidence in the Island’s financial services, insurance and pensions industries through effective regulation, thereby supporting the Island’s economy and its development as an international financial centre.


In discharging its functions the FSA is required to have regard to the:

  • the need to balance the regulatory objectives;
  • the need for the regulatory, supervisory and registration regimes to be effective, responsive to commercial developments and proportionate to the benefits which are expected to result from the imposition of any regulatory burden;
  • the need to use its resources in an efficient and economic way;
  • the desirability of implementing and applying recognised international standards;
  • the desirability of cooperating with governments, regulators and others outside the Island;
  • the need to safeguard the reputation of the Island;
  • the need to promote public understanding of the financial services, insurance and pensions industries;
  • the responsibilities of those who manage the affairs of permitted persons, insurers and retirement benefits schemes;
  • the international character of financial services, insurance and pensions industries and their markets and the desirability of maintaining the competitive position of the Island;
  • the desirability of facilitating the development of the financial services, insurance and pensions industries;
  • the impact of its decision on the stability of the financial system of the Island.

www.iomsfa.im contains all legislation, guidance and other matters that are relevant to all of the FSA’s licenceholders. Licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority. Telephone calls may be recorded.