International Financial Services Entities
Puerto Rico has been, since the early nineties, attracting investments for its growing International Financial Services Sector. Operating licenses to International Banking Entities (IBEs) were first given in 1989, and by 2011, 31 IBEs – with total assets of $44 billion were operating. In 2012, the Government of Puerto Rico instituted a number of development programs, like the IFE Act of 2012 that created the International Financial Entities (IFEs), replacing the IBE Act, in order to increase investment in the IFS sector.
By early 2019, there were 52 licensed EFIs, and the rapid rate of licensing in 2014-6 created a complex situation for the government, regulators, banking experts, legal advisers, consultants, the Federal Reserve, and the financial entities in operation, which slowed down the applications and the licensing of new entities. OFIC, The Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions, approved 11 licenses in 2018, 3 in both 2019 and 2020, after a more thorough process, compared to the previous years. Some of them are not operational.
I have written this page with the help of my partners in Puerto Rico, Ms. Ana del Toro and Mr. Calixto E. Lanauze, to provide you with more information about the IFS sector and the IFE development program instituted by the Government of Puerto Rico as you consider the possibility to invest or seek services provided in Puerto Rico. With our partners on the island, Mohr World helps IFEs with operational, banking, and technical advisory services and potential IFE applicants with their licensing applications.