Reading Time: 2.6 minutes “Making your mind up and knowing the risks” Each year the Alliance of Isle of Man Compliance Professionals, host a “Manx State of the Nation” conference which brings together speakers from government, regulators and compliance professionals from near and far to discuss issues of the moment. The new challenges This year holds more challenges than most as international pressures on the Island and our profession mount. Whether that challenge is Brexit or the growing threat of the Island being blacklisting over tax harmonisation, it is more important than ever to maintain the Group and the Isle of Man’s mantra to have the “freedom to flourish”. What changes does the industry need to make? The message was clear from the delegates attending the conference. The industry needs to develop a willingness to be agile, allowing for change so as to meet a fundamental goal – the protection of my rights and assets as a customer. This was refreshing given the audience of risk and compliance professionals not known for their ‘devil may care’ attitude and there was a real buzz about the place about what “WE” as a jurisdiction need to do to rise to meet these the massive challenges and develop and expand the Island’s appeal. Putting the customer first Protection of client assets through effective risk management is fundamental to the future of the Island’s financial community and must be the key driver integral to how the whole financial services industry operates moving forward. This agenda provided a clear focus at the conference, being discussed openly and actively in the panel sessions, and through numerous delegate questions highlighting what problems the Island faces but also what “WE” as an Island are doing about it. The “WE” is crucial here. It is imperative that the island’s financial community continues to interact regularly with regulators and government so that change can occur without being hamstrung by bureaucracy. A View on the Island Only those jurisdictions that want to improve and be the best are willing to put themselves up for international review and it is important to note that such reviews never question the Island’s paramount focus to protect customer rights and assets. ‘Healthy’ jurisdictions remain agile. The Island exhibits this through the close relationship between government, the regulators and industry with professional bodies such as AICP forming an ‘active’ melting pot of consultation allowing regulation and legislation to reflect the balance between commerciality and compliance. Evidence of this can be seen in the sharing of common goals and interpretations on AML exhibited by the Island’s Financial Services and Gaming regulators. This creates that level playing field upon which business and customers can ‘flourish’ Why is this important from the “customer’s view”? The success of any jurisdiction depends on how it is portrayed in the world’s press. Those who have never been to the Island or not inclined to read beyond the headlines will portray it as reckless, tax-driven and undesirable but perceptions are beginning to change. Work by government agencies and businesses are breaking down barriers and the tide of articles appearing are now focusing on the possibilities of this Island as a place to work and to set up business. How can the Island attract? In other jurisdictions, the availability of alternative banking options is shrinking as multinationals become increasingly risk-averse, while the Isle of Man is shirking the trend welcoming new growth by new and existing entities to open new doors to new clients. These solutions allow you, the client; to manage all your assets from a single location and make them work for you rather than generate a fee for your banker. They are free of the restraints imposed by group risk strategy but have the ability to be risk sensitive and work with you to determine “YOUR” risk appetite within the market place in order to create a bespoke solution. The island is achieving this by combining the new technology brought to the Island by eGaming industry with decades of quality Treasury experience, to enable these new banking explorers the chance to bring a unique suite of new products to the market place. This will facilitate and allow growth of new markets as well as open the door to new opportunities for the Island and its customers within a well-established data and regulatory compliant environment. If you are interested in what the future holds, taking control of your data and your management of risk then check out the Isle of Man and contact Capital International for more information. The views contained herein are those of the Author and do not contain the views or opinions of Capital International Group or the Alliance of Isle of Man Compliance Professionals.