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Financial experts aim to help promote international standards in Cyprus

A two-day seminar starting in Limassol on Tuesday promises to simplify process to help Cypriot finance firms achieve international standards, organisers said.
Local regulators and professional bodies will share a platform with experts from Jersey to outline new developments designed to achieve a common standard across industry sectors.

The seminars are being held in Limassol and Nicosia and are supported by the Cyprus Fiduciary Association and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission.

They are also backed by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators and the International Compliance Association, both internationally recognised professional standards-setting bodies.

The seminars are being staged by joint Cypriot/Jersey consultancy Sycamore Financial Services that aims to assist the professional services sector in Cyprus to achieve international compliance standards in a cost-effective manner.

They will also examine obligations across a range of sectors but there will be specific emphasis on requirements pertaining to ASPs.

“The approach adopted will benefit Cypriot professionals by giving them the chance to learn from some of the pitfalls experienced by jurisdictions elsewhere,” the organisers said in a news release.

The headline speaker is international regulatory consultant Helen Hatton, who is the former Deputy Director-General of the Jersey Financial Services Commission.

She said that Jersey was a centre that had worked hard to achieve the highest regulatory standards that now seem essential to allow access to international markets.

She said: “The development of both the regulatory regime and industry standards has been hard won in Jersey over the last 15 years.”
The events in Limassol and Nicosia will run on the same format and feature the same speakers.

As well as local regulators and professional bodies, specialist Jersey advocate Simon Franckel will share the stage along with other international experts.
Sycamore team members Jon Hackwood, Roger Bailey and Michael Zinonos have used their experience of both jurisdictions to produce guidelines that they are convinced are appropriate and proportionate for the Cypriot market.

Bailey said: “The work that we are undertaking will assist Cyprus ASPs and regulators to learn from the 20 plus years of regulation in Jersey. It is about combining the best of both breeds to produce a model that will work.”

Nearly 20 years after the introduction of laws governing financial regulation in Jersey, not only banks and trust companies are regulated but the legislation also applies to legal groups that offer financial services products. It even extends to real estate agents, jewellers and car dealers.

“This need for the law was considered vital as there is the potential for all goods and services to be used for money laundering purposes,” the news release said.
“Everyone supporting the seminars hopes that the work underway now to extend internationally recognised standards into the Cyprus market place will produce a change in mindset from practitioners.”

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