FAQs on Publication of Sanctions
1. What are sanctions? Are these new punishments for RFAs?
Sanctions have been in place since 15 May 2015. They are imposed against Registered Filing Agents and Registered Qualified Individuals who are found to be in breach of the Terms and Conditions of registration laid out in the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Filing Agents and Qualified Individuals) Regulations 2015. They include cancellation, suspension, restriction on the RFA’s use of BizFile+, financial penalty and issuance of censure.
2. What are the sanctions that ACRA will be publishing?
ACRA will be publishing the names of RFAs that have their registrations suspended or cancelled due to severe breaches of AML/CFT regulations. This will apply to RFAs that have been subjected to ACRA’s inspections from 1 June 2018.
3. When will the publication of sanctions take place?
It will be applicable to the RFAs that have been subjected to ACRA’s inspection from 1 June 2018.
4. What are some of the common breaches that will result in sanctions being imposed on RFAs?
Some of the common breaches that result in sanctions include incomplete customer due diligence conducted; failure to carry out risk assessment on their customers; and failure to identify or take inadequate measures to verify the identity of the customers.
5. Why is ACRA publishing the names of non-compliant RFAs?
Even though the number of RFAs who have been suspended or had their registration cancelled is minute, their breaches threaten to cast an unsavoury reputational pall on the entire profession. This stepped up measure is to uphold market transparency and deter the affected RFAs from repeated breaches and ensure that they take effective actions to raise professional standards.
6. Where will the names of sanctioned RFAs be published? When will it be removed?
The information will be made publicly available on ACRA’s corporate website and our online business registration and filing portal, BizFile+. The names will remain throughout the sanction period and will only be removed after the sanctions are lifted.