The Financial Services Commission (FSC) has issued on 2 October 2020, pursuant to its powers under Section 7(1)(a) of the Financial Services Act 2007 (FSA), its revised “Guidelines on Fitness and Propriety” (Guidelines) in line with the FSC objective to ensure the sound conduct of business in the financial services and global business sectors.
These revised guidelines supersede the Guide on Fitness and Propriety previously issued by the FSC on 9 June 2020. The revised guidelines can be accessed at: https://www.fscmauritius.org/media/85113/guide-to-fitness-propriety-with-pq.pdf
The aim of the Guidelines is to clarify the criteria to be taken into account by the FSC to assess the fitness and propriety of an applicant/licensee, including any person authorised, registered or approved under a relevant Act. These Guidelines are not exhaustive, and each case shall be considered on the basis of its own merits. The effective date of the Guidelines is 1 November 2020.
It is important to note that the onus is on the applicant/licensee and each relevant person to establish that the latter is a “fit and proper” person, as different appointment(s) and designation(s) entail different responsibilities.
Furthermore, the applicant/licensee and the relevant person(s) must accordingly, complete the Fit and Proper Person Questionnaire (PQ) and must provide, depending on the nature of the license, authorisation, registration or approval sought, any information that the FSC may require to complete its assessment. Where a PQ has already been filed, the applicant shall indicate in this application that the PQ has been filed and inform the Commission of any material change. Providing false and misleading information to the FSC will lead to criminal prosecutions under the FSA as mentioned in the revised Guidelines.
The revised PQ is more comprehensive than the previous version. The declaration part in the PQ has been further amended thereby giving FSC the authorisation to make such enquiries and seek such further information as the FSC thinks appropriate in verifying the information given in the PQ.
To also note that, any material changes affecting the completeness of the PQ will have to be notified to the FSC within a 30-day timeline.
Under the FSA, any person who, in connection with an application for a licence including a Global Business Licence, an authorisation under section 71A or any information submitted in respect of a valid licence (a) make or procure the making of a statement to the FSC which he knows or ought reasonably to know is false or misleading; (b) omit to state any matter to the FSC where he knows or ought reasonably to know that, because of the omission, he is misleading the FSC in a material respect, shall commit an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding 500,000 rupees and to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years.
General Note: Industry representatives are currently making representations to the Financial Services Commission on some of the new provisions. Should there be any consequent changes, we shall inform you accordingly.
Should you require our expert team to advise on various ESG ratings, benchmarks, metrics and reporting services available. We would be delighted to speak with you to discuss how Sanne can assist, please contact Yash Beeharee,Director Compliance & Control.