Lawyers and accountants in Cyprus are all up in arms against Moneyval’s demand for the supervision of undertakings providing administrative services (Fiduciary Services) to private companies to be amended.
By law, fiduciaries are regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) since 2012.
But at the same time registered lawyers and accountants who have provided fiduciary and corporate services via their respective firms and associated companies have been regulated throughout by their respective professional bodies.
That is, the Cyprus Bar Association and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus, respectively.
Informed sources told INSIDER that lawyers and accountants consider Moneyval’s demand that all fiduciaries are regulated by one single law to avoid loopholes because of the lack of a unified communication platform is not feasible.
Simply because CySEC does not have the means and resources to do so.
Moneyval is the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts for the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism.
At the same time, an insider also said that Moneyval seems to focus too much on fiduciaries and ignores other sectors with a greater risk to the local economy – such as those of the real estate and betting.
Moreover, Cyprus Fiduciary Association (CFA) head Christos Michael said the regulation of fiduciaries by one single law is a must and has been requested for years now. But he also expressed doubt as to whether CySEC’s current resources and means can meet the rising demands of the fiduciaries sector.
Representatives of the Cyprus Bar Association, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus, Central Bank of Cyprus, CySEC, Cyprus Betting Authority and MOKAS will be in Strasbourg on October 6-8 to exchange views and clarify grey areas on the latest draft report by Moneyval.
Insiders believe the report will contain both positive and negative points, but the main issue is Moneyval’s final recommendations and how strong these are going to be. A few days ago, Moneyval issued a corresponding report on Malta which included several gray areas that undermine the country’s reputation as a service providing centre.