Print Article

IOM FSA to pay costs after a tribunal found it had acted unreasonably by exceeding its powers.


The IOM financial watchdog [FSA] has been ordered to pay costs after a tribunal found it had acted unreasonably by exceeding its powers.

AAO Technologies lodged an appeal with the financial services tribunal after the Financial Services Authority [FSA] refused its application to register as a designated cryptocurrency business.

The FSA had decided to issue an expedited public statement, saying

  • AAO had contravened the 2015 Designated Businesses(Registration and Oversight) Act.

Its statement said AAO had been

  • ‘Holding itself out as carrying on a designated business,
  • Specifically convertible virtual currency activity’ without having been registered and
  • That this ‘may cause confusion to consumers.

AAO appealed against both

  • The FSA’s decision not to register the business and
  • Its decision to issue the public statement.

The FSA subsequently – external to the tribunal proceedings – revoked those two decisions.

  • It argued that having done so, the tribunal had lost its power to make a costs order against the FSA.
  • But AAO argued this denial of the tribunal’s continuing jurisdiction was ‘vexatious, abusive, disruptive or otherwise unreasonable’.


  • The FSA had rejected the company’s application to register on September 8, last year [2022].
  • AAO lodged its appeals with the financial services tribunal on September 29 and on the same day, wrote to the tribunal clerk seeking an urgent case management order to prevent the public statement being issued until the first appeal had been determined.
  • On September 30, tribunal chairman Paul Beckett ordered that the public statement should not be issued until the tribunal had determined the appeals.
  • On October 24, the FSA informed the tribunal that it would not be resisting the appeals and would be withdrawing and revoking each of its decisions which were the subject of the appeals.
    • This did not mean that its refusal to register the business had been reversed, and instead, AAO would have to apply again.
    • It said it was a matter for AAO whether it wished to continue with the appeals but would resist any order for costs.
  • In November, the tribunal ruled that it did have the power to award costs.


  • And tribunal chairman Mr Beckett has now ordered the FSA to pay the whole of AAO’s costs of its first and second appeals.
  • Mr Beckett said that FSA’s ‘attempted yet wholly ultra vires’ revocation of its decisions after the appeals process had begun had the effect of ‘usurping’ the authority of the tribunal and undermined the whole appeals process, which was of itself ‘unreasonable’.
  • He said the FSA had misunderstood its powers.



The Team

Meet the team of industry experts behind Comsure

Find out more

Latest News

Keep up to date with the very latest news from Comsure

Find out more


View our latest imagery from our news and work

Find out more


Think we can help you and your business? Chat to us today

Get In Touch

News Disclaimer

As well as owning and publishing Comsure's copyrighted works, Comsure wishes to use the copyright-protected works of others. To do so, Comsure is applying for exemptions in the UK copyright law. There are certain very specific situations where Comsure is permitted to do so without seeking permission from the owner. These exemptions are in the copyright sections of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended)[]. Many situations allow for Comsure to apply for exemptions. These include 1] Non-commercial research and private study, 2] Criticism, review and reporting of current events, 3] the copying of works in any medium as long as the use is to illustrate a point. 4] no posting is for commercial purposes [payment]. (for a full list of exemptions, please read here]. Concerning the exceptions, Comsure will acknowledge the work of the source author by providing a link to the source material. Comsure claims no ownership of non-Comsure content. The non-Comsure articles posted on the Comsure website are deemed important, relevant, and newsworthy to a Comsure audience (e.g. regulated financial services and professional firms [DNFSBs]). Comsure does not wish to take any credit for the publication, and the publication can be read in full in its original form if you click the articles link that always accompanies the news item. Also, Comsure does not seek any payment for highlighting these important articles. If you want any article removed, Comsure will automatically do so on a reasonable request if you email