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Regulatory Blog

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MONEYVAL publishes follow-up report on Cyprus anti-money laundering
On 13 January 2022, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (MONEYVAL) published its first follow-up report on the progress made by Cyprus since its prior 2019 initial report, which placed the jurisdiction under an enhanced follow-up programme. The follow-up report examines progress made in implementing new requirements relating to the Financial Action Task Force’s globally renowned 40 Recommendations since the prior review.
Cyprus finalises its national risk assessment on virtual assets and VASPs
On 13 December 2021, the Cyprus Ministry of Finance announced that the Report on National Risk Assessment (NRA) with respect to virtual assets (VA) and virtual asset service providers (VASPs) commissioned by the Advisory Authority for Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing has been finalised.
CySEC responds to FATF virtual assets guidance
On 24 November 2021, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) issued Circular 476 informing the Regulated Entities of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) updated Guidance for a Risk-Based Approach to Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers.
CySEC circular on US sanctions
On 11 November 2021, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) issued Circular 475 reminding firms of the practical implications of the latest sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the United States. CySEC also expressly referred to OFAC’s new Cyber related Designations and Designations Updates.
Cyprus Funds now eligible as Foreign Portfolio Investors in India
On 14 June 2021, India's Ministry of Finance notified its Cypriot counterparts that Cyprus would now be included as an eligible “Category I” country for the purposes of India’s Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) Regulations 2019 (SEBI Regulations). In broad terms such Category I countries comprise (direct) members of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and other countries specifically recognised as such by SEBI. We understand that, other than Cyprus, only the UAE and Mauritius have been specifically recognised in this way.
EU Commission revamps its AML/CFT rules introducing a package of legislative proposals
On 20 July 2021, the European Commission presented a package of legislative proposals to strengthen the EU's anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing (AML/CFT) rules. The package also includes the proposal for the creation of a new EU authority to fight money laundering.
FATF publishes report on “Opportunities and Challenges of New Technologies for AML/CFT”
On 1 July 2021, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published a report on the opportunities and challenges of new technologies for anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), as new technologies can improve the speed, quality and efficiency of measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF).
MONEYVAL’s Annual Report concludes that Europe needs to improve in fight against money laundering
On 4 July, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) published its Annual Report for 2020, finding that states and jurisdictions evaluated, show on average, only moderate levels of effectiveness in their efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. As a consequence, on average, their level of compliance is below satisfactory in MONEYVAL’s opinion.
CySEC’s new register for crypto-asset service providers
Further to the implementation of pan-EU requirements including crypto-asset service providers (CASPs) under the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD), Cyprus recently updated its definition of obliged entities under the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering Law 2007 (AML Law) to bring CASPs into scope.
FATF issues Guidance on the risk-based approach for AML/CFT Supervisors
On 4 March 2021, the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) issued guidance (Guidance) on risk-based supervision for financial intelligence units and other supervisors covering the assessment of risks in the sectors they oversee and commentary on adapting their resources.
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