Regulating businesses and company names in the Isle of Man

The Companies and Business Names etc Bill 2012 has recently received its third reading in the Legislative Council.

The bill has been introduced in response to a recommendation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as part of its 2009 report into the Isle of Man’s compliance with the Basal Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision. While the IMF did not comment generally on the Isle of Man’s existing regime in respect of name approvals for bodies corporate and unincorporate, it did comment on the lack of regulation regarding the use of the word ‘bank’ and ‘banking’ in business and company names. It was suggested that, in order for the Isle of Man to be strictly compliant, the use of the term ‘bank’ should be expressly limited to licensed entities.

The rationale is that the protection of the term ‘bank’ and derivations is a matter of consumer protection. As such it was recommended that the use of any terms that indicate or that could reasonably be understood to indicate that a person, business or company is a bank, banker or carrying-on banking business should be restricted to appropriately licensed entities unless expressly authorised otherwise by the Companies Registry…

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