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Unlike other countries in the region, Belize, a small country on the eastern coast of Central America, has taken steps to regulate its forex and CFD market and even to attract foreign brokers to register with the local International Financial Services Commission (IFSC) of Belize.
IFSC, which was established back in 1999 under the Ministry of Belize Securities, is the country’s government agency responsible for regulating all financial market participants and exchanges in the country, including all Licensed Investment Services Companies, Collective Investment Schemes, investment consultants, mutual fund management companies, investment firms, brokerage firms and forex and CFD brokers.
Back in 2016 IFSC tried to rise its regulatory standards by increasing the minimum operational capital for forex and CFD brokers to 500 000 USD form the previously required 100 000 USD. The commission also increased its application fee to 1000 USD form 500 USD and the annual license fee to 25 000 USD form 5000 USD.
The new operational capital rules together with the requirement for a segregated account, where brokers should keep all clients funds, was meant to uplift the reputation of IFSC so that it can gradually become a regulatory hub like the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), or the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
And although IFSC has succeeded to attract some international brokers, the reputation of the Commission can not be compared to that of FCA, CySEc or ASIC simply because IFSC lacks the operational capacity to regulate internationally operating companies.
Notable payment methods in Belize include popular e-wallets like Neteller, Skrill and PayPal, as well as Western Union and major credit or debit cards like VISA and MasterCard.
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