The Financial Services Commission (FSC) came into existence on August 2, 2001, by virtue of the Financial Services Commission Act. It has replaced the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance (OSI) and Unit Trusts and the Securities Commission.
The FSC, a self-financing regulatory body, was given wide-ranging powers to supervise, investigate and sanction entities falling under its jurisdiction. Bearing in mind the factors behind the crisis, the FSC’s supervisory practices initially placed a significant amount of weight on prudential supervision focusing on solvency, the quality of internal controls, risk management and corporate governance within regulated institutions.
The FSC absorbed the functions of the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance, the Office of the Superintendent of Unit Trusts and the Securities Commission. It is charged with supervising its licensees under the FSC, Insurance, Securities and Unit Trusts Acts.
It is also the regulator of private Pensions Schemes through the Pensions (Superannuation Funds and Retirements Schemes) Act of 2004 (“The Pensions Act”). The FSC is also charged with licensing, registering and supervising trustees, administrators and investment managers of private pension schemes.
The FSC supervises and regulates the securities industry, the insurance industry and the private pensions industry.
As such it may be properly described as an integrated financial services regulator. The FSC has the responsibility to manage the proper administration of the securities and insurance laws.
In doing so the FSC oversees the registration, solvency and conduct of approximately 114 firms and over 1,200 individuals doing business in the securities and insurance (life and General) industries.
The FSC will be responsible for the registration and oversight of over 800 private pension plans and as yet an unknown number of pension’s administrators and investment managers.
The FSC oversees these entities by administering a number of statutes and accompanying regulations. The relevant statutes are the FSC Act, the Securities Act, the Pension Act, the Unit Trusts Act and the Insurance Act.