Antigua and Barbuda's international financial services sector began with the enactment of the International Business Corporations Act CAP 222 ("the IBC Act") in 1982. Initially, the IBC Act as administered by the Ministry of Finance. By 1990, the country's financial services industry had grown significantly and the Government, encouraged by this growth, sought to position the country as a premier international financial centre. Part of the repositioning strategy was the enactment of anti-money laundering legislation enshrined in the Money Laundering Prevention Act 1996.

Subsequently, a series of major amendments to the IBC Act, ending in 2002 with the creation of the body now known as the Financial Services Regulatory Commission ("the Commission"). The 2002 amendment expanded the range of activities to be regulated by the Commission to include businesses operated or carried on under the Financial Institution Non-Banking Act, the Cooperative Societies Act, the Insurance Act. In addition to the above, this amendment brought Antigua and Barbuda in line with current international trends toward consolidating the regulation and supervision of financial services under a single regulatory body.