The chairwoman of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) Demetra Kalogerou said at a briefing dedicated to summarizing the organization's recent activities that all companies that had or have business relations with persons naturalized through the Cyprus investment program will be targeted by the commission.
According to Kalogerou, the anti-money laundering unit will conduct both local and remote checks this year.
'Exactly because this is an issue that has pre-occupied society and all of us more generally, we would like as CySEC to be sure that the investors who have obtained citizenship and who are clients of companies we supervise, have updated files and comply with legislation against money laundering,' - Mrs. Kalogerou told a conference.
CySEC will be able to freeze assets
At the same time, Ms Kalogerou noted that the anti-money laundering unit has commissioned an external consultant to prepare amendments to the legal framework so that the Commission can be empowered to change or close controlled markets, according to the central bank rules.
She explained that this is still applicable to only a number of companies (market makers), but not to all companies controlled by CySEC.
'We would like to have such powers, even to freeze assets, this is another power other supervisors have and we do not. To be able to freeze the money of clients so others don’t take it and leave Cyprus', she added.
For his part, the vice-president of CySEC George Theocharides explained that the authority can also extend to the company's assets.
'We do not have such authority now and we feel somewhat limited as now we cannot close some companies', - said Ms. Kalogerou, adding that this issue would be sent to the Ministry of Finance after an external audit.
Capital continued to grow
Meanwhile, according to Kalogerou, the Cypriot financial market continues to grow steadily despite the challenging financial period and changes in the legal framework.
In particular, Ms Kalogerou noted that consideration of applications for licensing of new supervised organizations will continue to grow in 2020. A total of 88 organizations were approved, of which 69 were in collective investment, 14 in the provision of investment services and 5 in the provision of administrative services. At the moment, 779 organizations are controlled by CySEC, which is 4.42% more than in 2019, when 746 organizations were under control.
In her statements, Ms Kalogerou also highlighted the efforts being made to modernize the Organization. In this context, two important CySEC projects were launched in 2020: the development of a data management structure aimed at optimal organization of the Organization's huge amount of data and the creation of a structure for the timely identification, proper assessment and management of potential risks and risks regulating the work of the Commission itself (Enterprise Risk Management). Both projects are expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021.
During 2021, CySEC will continue the procedures for creating an electronic register of service providers provided for by amendments to the legislation on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.