The Authority or SIFA was established in May 2005 after the enactment of the Samoa International Finance Authority Act 2005.
Previously, Samoa’s International Finance Centre was regulated by the Office of the Registrar of International and Foreign Companies with a different structure operating as a quasi government unit within the Central Bank of Samoa.
The present structure of the Authority is governed by a Board of Directors which comprises of the Attorney General, the Governor of the Central Bank, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Finance and four (4) private sector members, one of whom is the Chairperson of the Board.
In accordance with the Trustees Companies Act 1988, licensed trustee companies are the local agents through which clients enter our jurisdiction. Trustee companies must necessarily be “fit and proper” in terms of their integrity, competence and solvency. Trustee companies perform a crucial role in our operations, being in the frontline of our Centre. Rather than clients engaging our services directly, for registration of offshore entities, our government contrived a policy at inception, to license trustee companies (also called Corporate Services Providers) to deal directly with users of our Centre. Such policy was deliberate to ensure that only established professionals, with international connections and of good standing, are licensed, as agents, can provide corporate services to clients. Licensed trustee companies are obliged to “know their clients” and have pre-acceptance criteria in place for such purpose.
Overall, the creation of SIFA was an acknowledgement that to address new challenges, we needed to adopt a new structure, new approach and new solutions. Only in this way can SIFA become more responsive to the rapid changes in the global financial environment.
The following represents the current structure of SIFA:
The daily operations of the Authority have been mandated to the supervision of the Chief Executive Officer, Management and Support Staff. The Authority employs forty-six (46) staff, whom are divided into four (4) sections, Registration, Accounts, Administration and Marketing.