The Enforcement Manual (“the Manual”) was issued on 12 June 2020 and sets out the overall approach of the Financial Services Commission (“the FSC”) to exercise its enforcement powers. The Manual sets out general policies and procedures that the FSC use as guidance to detect, investigate and take appropriate actions where relevant laws and guidelines have been breached. It is important to note that the Manual is a non-binding document and not an exhaustive representation of the FSC’s approach to the use of its enforcement powers. The Manual must be read alongside the Financial Services Act 2007 (“FSA”) and the other relevant applicable laws.
The FSC is empowered under relevant laws to meet its statutory objectives as set out in the FSA that also lists down the administrative sanctions that the FSC may impose. This includes private warnings, public censure, disqualification of a licensee/officer, administrative penalty and revocation of licence. The above-mentioned administrative sanctions are backed by other enforcement powers such as suspending a licence, giving warnings, giving directions, applying to the Judge in Chamber for freezing of assets of the licensee, applying to the courts for injunction and restitution orders or prosecute various offences with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Enforcement measures as specified in the Manual are applicable to Financial Institutions, including Management Companies, and to holders of a Global Business Licence (“GBL”) also authorised to conduct financial services. All references to GBL thereafter is in this context.
The holder of a GBL may be subject to an inquiry based on the following circumstances:
A corporation holding a GBL shall, when so required by the FSC in exercising its general powers of supervision, furnish all such information and produce such documents as may be required of him by the FSC in order to ensure and monitor compliance with the relevant laws.
During an inquiry, the Chief Executive may by notice: (1) request the production of any document to be inspected at such reasonable time and place; (2) take copies of or extracts from any document so produced; and (3) issue directions.
It is considered as a criminal offence to: (a) fail to produce a document requested by the Chief Executive for inspection after having been duly notified in that respect; (b) obstruct the Chief Executive or the inquirer from taking copies or extracts of the document produced; and (c) fail to comply with a direction issued by the Chief Executive with respect to the provision of information and/or documents for the purposes of the inquiry.
The FSA lists down the grounds on which a GBL can be revoked and are as follows: (i) where it is necessary to protect the good repute of Mauritius as a centre for financial services; (ii) to prevent or mitigate damage to the integrity of the financial services industry; and/or (iii) to protect the public in general. Prior to revocation of a GBL, the FSC may suspend it. The holder of the GBL will be duly notified of the reasons behind the revocation and will be allowed to make written representations as to why the revocation is not justified.
This communique is for information only. Should you need professional advice on this manual, we would recommend that you contact a professional services provider or Sanne for guidance. We would be delighted to speak with you to discuss how Sanne can assist. For more information please contact [email protected] or [email protected]