CATEGORY: NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS, PRESS RELEASES
Singapore, 21 February 2022 – The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)has cancelled the registration of registered qualified individual (RQI) Lew Chian Hwa and the registration of registered filing agent (RFA) SGCN Link Pte Ltd (SGCN) with effect from 29 January 2022, pursuant to Section 32(12)(a) and Section 31(13)(a) of the ACRA Act (Cap 2A) respectively.
2 ACRA investigations revealed that RQI Lew Chian Hwa had filed documents with ACRA for her clients’ companies, even though she had reasonable grounds to believe that the information (including information filed on the Register of Registrable Controllers) was inaccurate; and she did so without being authorised by her clients. This is in breach of the terms and conditions prescribed in the Second Schedule of the ACRA (Filing Agents and Qualified Individuals) Regulations.
3 As Lew was the sole director and shareholder of RFA SGCN Link Pte Ltd (SGCN),ACRA investigations also revealed that SGCN breached the terms and conditions prescribed in the First Schedule of the ACRA (Filing Agents and Qualified Individuals) Regulations. In particular, SGCN failed to perform enhanced customer due diligence measures to mitigate the money laundering and financing of terrorism risks in relation to the incorporation of the companies. SGCN also failed to take reasonable measures to verify the identity of the beneficial owners of the companies before filing said information on beneficial ownership with ACRA
Obligations of RQIs and RFAs
4 An RQI is an individual who provides corporate secretarial services for business entities such as helping clients to file annual returns and/or fulfil the requirements under the Companies Act or other Acts under ACRA’s purview. An RFA is a business entity that provides such services. RQIs and RFAs must be registered with ACRA and fulfil general requirements such as being a fit and proper person before providing corporate secretarial services.
5 RQIs and RFAs must ensure that filings with ACRA are carried out in accordance with instructions from their clients, and that the filings are true and accurate. RQIs found to have breached their obligations could face financial penalties of up to $10,000 per breach and/or have their registration suspended or cancelled. The names of RQIs and RFAs whose registration have been suspended or cancelled are published on ACRA’s website and BizFile+, ACRA’s online business filing and information portal.
6 Anyone who has reason to believe that a RQI or a RFA is suspected to have breached his/her regulatory obligations should report the matter to ACRA at ED_Investigations@acra.gov.sg.
ACCOUNTING AND CORPORATE REGULATORY AUTHORITY
21 Feb 2022