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Highlights on the Mauritius FSC communique on updates to the competency standards for MLRO and CO

Insight 23 June 2022

Highlights on the Mauritius FSC communique on updates to the competency standards for MLRO and CO

The FSC issued a communique on 9 June 2022 with respect to updates on the competency standards (Issued under section 7(1)(a) of the Financial Services Act 2007)

Following the recent development that occurred in our AML/CFT landscape with Mauritius successfully coming out of the FATF grey list and EU blacklist, there have been several changes at the regulatory, supervision and operational levels. In order to align with these new market practices/requirements, the FSC has updated the Competency Standards for MLRO and CO and these new updates have been outlined below.

The Financial Services Commission (“FSC”) had initially issued, on 27 October 2014, the Competency Standards as part of its Fair Market Conduct Programme. Further to a FSC circular dated 2 February 2016, a revised Competency standards was issued based on the fact the CIS Managers are no longer required to appoint designated officers[1]. The FSC has now issued an updated version on 9 June 2022 with further amendments as more fully described below.

The purpose of having the Competency Standards is to guide the financial institutions[2] on how to demonstrate and maintain the minimum technical competencies for some specific positions.

Pursuant to its powers under section 7(1)(a) of the Financial Services Act 2007 (“FSA”)[3], the FSC has updated the above mentioned Competency Standards to assist financial institutions when considering the appointment of a Money Laundering Officer (“MLRO”), a Deputy MLRO as well as a Compliance Officer (“CO”) in line with requirements of Financial Intelligence and Anti-Money Laundering Regulations and current market practices/requirements.

The updated Competency Standards can be accessed at:

https://www.fscmauritius.org/media/127924/amendments-to-competency-standards-with-respect-to-money-laundering-reporting-officer-and-compliance-officer-june-2022.pdf

[1] Designated officer means an officer of a licensee who is expected to have the minimum technical competencies prescribed under the Competency Standards

[2] As per the Financial Intelligence and Anti- Money Laundering Act 2002 (as amended from time to time) (“FIAMLA 2002”), Financial Institution means – (a) an institution or a person, as the case may be, licensed, registered or authorised under – (i) section 14, 77, 77A or 79A of the Financial Services Act; (ii) the Insurance Act, other than an insurance salesperson; (iii) the Securities Act other than an entity registered with that Act as a reporting issuer and which does not conduct any financial activities; (iv) the Captive Insurance Act; or (v) the Trusts Act as a qualifies trustee; (vi) section 12 of the Private Pension Schemes Act; or  (b) a credit union

[3]https://www.fscmauritius.org/media/84940/financial-services-act-2007pdf.pdf

The new updates in competency standards

  • Competency Table 17 for Compliance Officer
    The Competency Table 17 has been included which elaborates on the technical competencies and requirements for a CO which is broadly similar to that of a MLRO/DMLRO.

  • Experience Required for MLRO/DMLRO/CO
    In previous Competency Standards, the MLRO/DMLRO was required, together with relevant qualification, to also have at least 5 years’ relevant experience in the industry to be eligible for appointment. In revised Competency standards, the FSC has taken a flexible approach by also considering those applicants having at least 3 years' relevant experience in the industry for appointment as MLRO/DMLRO/CO and subject to the submission of relevant and valid AML/CFT professional certification.

    Valid AML/CFT certification that may be considered are: The Financial Services Institute (FSI), the Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (ACAMS), the International Compliance Association (ICA) or any other certifications meeting the global AML/CFT requirement standards which may be considered by the FSC.

  • Section 4.6 of the Competency Standards states that: “In the event that a person does not hold the minimum qualification or other comparable qualification, the Commission may consider, on a case-by-case basis, whether the person has sufficient relevant experience to demonstrate the required competency level”.

Further to recent updates done, the FSC has now further elaborated that notwithstanding absence of relevant qualification from a recognised institution, the MLRO, DMLRO and CO may be eligible if it can demonstrate a minimum of 10 years’ of relevant experience in the industry for the purpose of Section 4.6 of the Competency Standards.

All the above requirements will be applicable for appointment of new MLRO/DMLRO and CO as from 1 June 2022.

If you would like more information, reach out to Yash directly.

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Mauritius
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Yash Beeharee Director, Compliance & Control - Mauritius
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This highlight is for information purposes only. While every care has been taken to make it as comprehensible as possible, it may have omitted information that is useful to a particular reader. You are urged to seek professional advice as may be required and not rely on this highlight as advice or opinion.

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