Money Services Business means the business of providing as a primary service any of the following: transmission of money or monetary value in any form; cheque cashing; currency exchange; the issuance, sale and redemption of payment instruments; any other services the Minister may specify by notice published in the gazette; or the business of operating as an agent or franchise holder.
The several classes of licence issued under the Money Services Act, No. 26 of 2008, shall authorize the holders to carry on money services business as specified –
- CLASS A licence permits the holder to carry on the transmission of money or monetary value in any form, the issuance, sale or redemption of money orders or traveller’s cheques, cheque cashing and currency exchange.
- CLASS B licence permits the holder to carry on the issuance, sale or redemption of money orders or traveller’s cheques, cheque cashing and currency exchange.
- CLASS C licence permits the holder to carry on cheque cashing.
- CLASS D licence permits the holder to carry on currency exchange.
- CLASS E licence permits the holder to carry on pay day advances.
Where different places of business are kept in the name of the same legal person, a separate licence is required for each such place of business.
In order to obtain a licence as a money services business, a person shall apply in writing to the Financial Services Regulatory Commission, pay the prescribed application fee, complete Form A and Form B as outlined in Schedule 2 of the Money Services Business Act of 2008 and submit the required documents. The Financial Services Regulatory Commission will process the application in accordance with its application processing procedures. Upon completion of this process, if it is satisfied that an application is in order and the applicant is a fit and proper person to be licensed to conduct money services business, the Financial Services Regulatory Commission will approve the application and issue a licence to the applicant subject to the applicant paying the prescribed licence fee and making the prescribed statutory deposit in accordance with the Money Services Business Act.
It is anticipated that every sponsor will arrange for a delegation of its senior officers, or, in the case of an independent institution, of its principal controllers, to make a presentation in respect of the applicant and its proposed business before a formal application is submitted.
Audited Financial Statements
- If the applicant is a business that was existent and operating prior to the date of application, copies of audited financial statements (balance sheet, profit and loss, auditor’s report and notes to accounts) for the five consecutive years immediately preceding its application, except however that where such applicant has been functioning for less than five years, a copy of its audited financial statements for each year it has been in operation shall be sufficient.
- Where item 1 is not applicable the opening balance sheet, (audited).
- Operating projections for the proposed licensee’s first five years of business. This should include balance sheet, income statement and cash flow projections prepared in an acceptable accounting format. Details of any financial or economic assumptions on which these projections are based should be clearly indicated.
- Where Applicant is a subsidiary or affiliate of another company, submit in addition to item 1 or 2, audited financial statements of the parent company and all other “connected” companies.
Licensed Money Services Businesses
- MP Express
- Western Union
Form A – Information to be contained in and to accompany an application for the grant of a licence.
Form B – Personal questionnaire (Fit and Proper Test)
Application and annual licensing fees are as follows:
|Class||Application Fee||Annual Licence Fee|
Duration of Money Services Businesses
A licence to carry on money services business is valid from the date of first issue to the 31st December of that year and is renewable each year on payment of the prescribed annual fee on or before the 15th day of January.
If the Commission has reasonable cause to suspect that any person is carrying on money services business without a licence granted under the Money Services Business Act, No. 26 of 2008, the Financial Services Regulatory Commission may relay the matter before a Magistrate with regards to its suspicions.
A licensee is required to appoint annually an Auditor who must be a Chartered Accountant, Certified Public Accountant, a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Eastern Caribbean or some other professionally qualified accountant, whose duty shall be to prepare reports on the annual financial statements and financial position of the licensee.
Accordingly, the licensee must, within three months of the end of their financial year, forward the audited financial statements to the Financial Services Regulatory Commission unless prior written approval for an extension was granted by the Commission.
A licensee shall institute procedures to ensure that its accounting records and systems of business control comply with the requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, No. 25 of 2008.
The holder of a Class A or Class B licence, must, within the format provided by the Financial Services Regulatory Commission, file quarterly returns with the Commission within fifteen days of the end of a quarter, along with a written declaration that the information set out in the application for the licence remains correct and gives a fair picture of the operations of the money services business.
The holder of Class C, Class D or Class E licence must, within fifteen days of the end of the financial year, file an annual return with the Commission along with a written declaration that the information set out in its application remains correct.
Revocation and Termination of a Licence
The Financial Services Regulatory Commission may revoke any licence to carry on money services business in Saint Christopher and Nevis if the licensee (a) fails to commence operations within a period of three (3) months following the granting of the licence; (b) fails to comply with the conditions or restrictions of its licence; (c) is in breach of any of the provisions of the Money Services Business Act; (d) ceases to carry on money services business in Saint Christopher and Nevis; (e) is conducting its affairs in a manner detrimental to the public interest or to the interest of its customers; (f) goes into liquidation or is winding up or otherwise dissolved; (g) by reason of any other circumstance, is no longer a fit and proper person to hold a licence. The Financial Services Regulatory Commission will also terminate a licence at the request of the licensee.
Where a licence to carry on money services business in Saint Christopher and Nevis has been revoked, the Financial Services Regulatory Commission will publish a notice of the revocation in the Gazette and a newspaper circulating in Saint Christopher and Nevis and take any other steps necessary to inform the public of such revocation.