Seychelles’ Financial Services Sector


Seychelles’ financial services sector has a history of quick growth and true
resilience. The islands’ broad domain, bolstered by a strong regulatory and
compliance structure, includes banking, insurance, company registration, trusts, foundations, investment funds and securities. Its position as a leading provider of sophisticated international financial services is well justified; this array of financial services is supported by excellent infrastructure, including secure telecommunication infrastructure, as well as a strong legal and fiscal environment of political and economic stability.

Seychelles offers one of the highest standards of living in Africa, and as a result of its excellent environment and quality of life, has attracted and created a pool of highly qualified people to provide expert services to worldwide clients.

Owing to its unique history, the island has a hybrid legal system that combines English common law and French Napoleonic Code law. This gives the jurisdiction a competitive advantage by allowing it to offer investors a variety of structures such as trusts (common law vehicles) and foundations (civil vehicles). The jurisdiction’s commercial and financial legislation is mostly based on English law. The Seychelles regulatory system has been carefully crafted through collaboration between the public and commercial sectors.

This has enabled a balance to be struck between worldwide best practice and the needs of foreign enterprises and investors. The Financial Services Authority is Seychelles’ regulating authority for international financial services. The Insurance Act of 2008 modernised the regulatory framework of the Seychelles insurance industry, allowing for greater flexibility within the sector.

A wide range of products is regulated, including captive insurance, reinsurance and short- and long-term insurance. Securities legislation establishes the regulatory framework for securities trading in Seychelles. The act provides investors with trust by licensing and regulating all market components, from the securities exchange to securities dealers to investment advisors, and applying internationally accepted principles
across the industry.

Seychelles, like many other well-regulated and renowned worldwide financial
centres, has long been undergoing calm and cautious development. Because of
the implementation of a territorial taxation system, all companies (including
international business companies (IBCs) and companies (special licences) are
exempt from any Seychelles tax or duty on income or profits if they do not derive assessable income (that is, Seychelles-sourced income) in Seychelles. The International Business Company (IBC) Act and the International Trusts Act were among the first pieces of legislation, enacted in 1994, to introduce the international financial services sector to Seychelles. The increased versatility of Seychelles’ IBCs makes them perfect for any business, from personal service companies to collective investment schemes operating locally or abroad.
Seychelles also has one of the fastest IBC registrations in the world, with same-day incorporation.

Market Potential

A new legislative architecture is intended to create more value-added goods and innovate the current financial product offerings. The Fintech Sandbox Regulation, 2018, is currently being finalised. This new law will support the introduction of innovative non-bank financial services based on technology, notably investing services and bitcoin. The future growth of Seychelles is certain to mix enterprise and caution, and the state will remain internationally recognised as a star jurisdiction for financial services.

Investment Opportunities

  • The establishment of banking and non-banking financial institutions
  • The provision of ancillary services to financial service companies
  • The provision of digitalised financial services to boost financial inclusion.

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