The Financial Services Commission (FSC) of Mauritius plays a pivotal role in the development and regulation of the financial services sector in the island nation. As the integrated regulator for non-banking financial services, the FSC oversees capital markets, insurance, pensions, and global business.

Established in 2001 under the Financial Services Act 2007, the FSC works to promote the development, fairness, efficiency and transparency of financial institutions and capital markets in Mauritius. The FSC operates with the vision of positioning Mauritius as a sound and competitive financial services centre.

The FSC’s mission focuses on four key aspects:

  • Supervise institutions to ensure the sound conduct of business
  • Oversee markets and exchanges to ensure orderly and transparent operations
  • Protect the interests of consumers of financial services and promote public understanding of the financial system
  • Reduce systemic risk through prudential regulation and supervision

Key Responsibilities and Powers of the FSC

The FSC is the integrated regulator for all non-banking financial services and global business activities in Mauritius. Its oversight and regulatory powers extend across:

  • Insurance business – including reinsurance, insurance agents, insurance brokers and insurance salesmen
  • Pension schemes
  • Management companies and other collective investment schemes
  • Global business companies holding Category 1 or Category 2 licenses
  • Investment dealers, forex brokers, distributors and advisors
  • Derivatives dealers and providers of other capital markets activities
  • Fundraising and securities trading on stock exchanges
  • Market infrastructures like clearing and settlement systems

To enable it to effectively carry out its mandate, the FSC has been endowed with regulatory and enforcement powers such as:

  • Issuing binding guidelines and codes for regulated businesses
  • Vetting applications for licenses and authorizations
  • Ongoing supervision and monitoring of regulated entities
  • Carrying out inspections and investigations, including onsite examinations
  • Enforcing compliance through warnings, directions and fines
  • Applying sanctions and penalties in cases of violations
  • Cooperating with overseas regulators for information sharing
  • Advising the government on legislative reforms

Organizational Structure of the FSC

The FSC has a three-tiered organizational structure comprising of:

Board of the FSC

At the apex is a Board appointed by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. The Board is responsible for oversight of the organization and approval of policies, budgets and corporate plan.

Executive Committee

Comprising of a Chief Executive and four Deputy Chief Executives, the ExCo implements policies set by the Board and takes management decisions for the FSC.

Technical committees, departments and units

The specialized work of regulation and supervision is carried out by technical committees, departments and operational units reporting to ExCo members. These include:

  • Non-Banking Financial Institutions and Markets Supervision Committee – oversees capital markets operators, bureau de change etc.
  • Insurance and Pension Supervision Committee – regulates insurers, pension funds and related intermediaries
  • Global Business Supervision Committee – oversees regulation of global business companies
  • Financial Services Commission Tribunal – hears appeals against FSC decisions
  • Legal Affairs Division, Enforcement Division, Policy and International Relations Division etc.

Licensing Requirements for Regulated Activities

The FSC operates a regulatory regime based on requiring mandatory licenses for providing financial services and conducting capital markets activities. The main licenses and authorizations include:

1. Global Business Licenses

The FSC issues two types of licenses for global business companies in Mauritius:

  • Category 1 Global Business License (GBC1) – typically used for conducting global business activities without residents/citizens of Mauritius. No tax or minimum capital requirements.
  • Category 2 Global Business License (GBC2) – for companies with resident shareholders or income/assets sourced from Mauritius. Subject to standard corporate tax rate and minimum capital of USD 100,000.

2. Investment Dealer License

Allows financial institutions to carry out securities trading, underwriting, portfolio management and investment advisory services for clients. Must meet stipulated capital and liquidity requirements.

3. Insurance License

Required to conduct insurance business including underwriting and selling insurance products. Separate licenses for long term and general insurance. Minimum stated capital of MUR 40 million for insurers.

4. Registration for Distribution of Financial Products

Individual agents, brokers, advisors and sales representatives must register with the FSC for marketing and distribution of financial services like collective investment schemes, insurance products, MFS etc.

Ongoing Supervision and Reporting Requirements

Licensees under the FSC’s purview are subject to stringent reporting requirements and ongoing supervision to ensure compliance, including:

  • Submitting audited financial statements and accounts annually
  • Quarterly filings on performance, solvency position, risk exposure
  • Immediate notifications in case of financial difficulty, management changes etc.
  • Maintaining minimum stated capital, reserves and liquid assets as stipulated
  • Adhering to guidelines on internal controls, risk management and governance

The FSC employs a proportional, risk-based approach to supervision using both offsite monitoring mechanisms and frequent onsite examinations. It closely tracks emerging risks and vulnerabilites in the system as well.

Key Legislation Governing the FSC

The FSC derives its regulatory powers, responsibilities and functions mainly from the following legislation:

  • Financial Services Act 2007 – establishes the FSC and its broad objectives, governance structure and powers
  • Securities Act 2005 – provides for licensing and regulation of securities market operators including exchanges, clearing systems and investment dealers
  • Insurance Act 2005 – governs the conduct of insurance business by direct insurers and intermediaries
  • Private Pension Schemes Act 2012 – provides for establishment and supervision of pension plans and funds
  • Protected Cell Companies Act 1999 – enables creation of protected cell companies to segregate and ring-fence assets and liabilities
  • Relevant amendments, regulations and FSC rules also applicable

Promoting Mauritius as a Reputable IFC

A key aspect of the FSC’s mandate focuses on positioning Mauritius as a reputable and well-regulated International Financial Centre (IFC). Its initiatives in this regard encompass:

Implementing Robust AML/CFT frameworks

Mauritius has continuously strengthened its anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regulations in line with FATF standards. Key highlights:

  • Member of the Eastern & Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG)
  • Comprehensive legal framework – The Financial Intelligence and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2002 and various guidelines
  • Rigorous due diligence requirements for global business companies, banks, insurers and other licensees
  • Mandatory reporting of suspicious transactions

Leadership on Global Tax Transparency

Mauritius has been at the forefront of global tax transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.

  • Was among the early adopters of the OECD Common Reporting Standard (CRS) which enables automatic exchange of tax information
  • Signatory to the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement to implement CRS
  • Friendly foreign tax regimes – extensive network of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements and Investment Protection Treaties

International Cooperation and Memberships

The FSC collaborates closely with international bodies and peer regulators globally, including:

  • IOSCO member – for developing securities markets regulation
  • IAIS member – to promote effective insurance supervision globally
  • African Development Bank – partnership to strengthen financial sector oversight capabilities

Stringent Enforcement of Compliance

To give more teeth to regulation, the FSC has been enhancing its enforcement capabilities:

  • Empowered to investigate offenses and suspicious transactions by financial institutions
  • Can issue directions, censures and impose monetary penalties for breaches
  • Authority to apply sanctions like suspension/cancellation of licenses and debarment of officers
  • Power to initiate court proceedings for legal action in cases of serious violations
  • Collaborates with enforcement agencies like ICAC, Police and FIU
  • Encourages whistle-blowing to uncover misconduct

Fostering Financial Literacy and Inclusion

The FSC supports various initiatives to promote wider financial literacy and inclusion across Mauritius. For instance:

  • Partnered with the Bank of Mauritius to develop a National Financial Education Strategy
  • Supports media campaigns to improve awareness of financial services, risks and consumer rights
  • Sponsors financial literacy programs targeting women, youth, entrepreneurs, school students etc.
  • Advocates expanding access to affordable financial services through FinTech
  • Published guides for investors on saving, investing safely and avoiding frauds

Key Developments and Future Outlook

Some noteworthy recent and upcoming developments concerning the FSC include:

  • Implementing a risk-based consolidated supervision framework to track risks across financial groups
  • Finalizing new Private Pension Schemes Regulations to govern personal pension plans
  • Introducing regulations for Robo-advisors, equity crowdfunding and other FinTech
  • Developing a Financial Services Institute to provide capacity building for the sector
  • Working on new legislation for regulating credit rating agencies
  • Fostering the growth of Mauritius into a fintech and blockchain services hub
  • Partnering with regulators in major economies to enable cross-border provision of financial services


Since its inception two decades ago, the FSC has been pivotal to shaping Mauritius’ success as a well-reputed IFC. Its oversight across banking, insurance, pensions, capital markets and global business has promoted a resilient, inclusive and innovative financial system.

Moving forward, the FSC is gearing up to support the government’s vision of establishing Mauritius as a key financial services bridge between Asia and Africa. Its focus will be on encouraging sustainable finance, harnessing fintech, implementing effective supervision, upholding integrity and transparency.

With its expanding powers, expertise and strategic partnerships, the Financial Services Commission is sure to continue playing a vital role in securing the prosperity and stability of Mauritius’ financial sector in the years ahead.