The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) had cancelled the registrations of a Filing Agent (RFA) and Qualified Individual (RQI) on 18 January 2024. The registrations were cancelled in view of breaches of Anti-Money Laundering and Countering The Financing Of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Controls under the ACRA (Filing Agents And Qualified Individuals) Regulations 2015 (The “ACRA
Some of the basic AMT/CFT Controls that every RFA and RQI are required to exercise are as follows:
(A) Perform additional Customer Due Diligence measures when a customer is not physically present during onboarding;
(B) Inquiring if there exists any beneficial owner in relation to some of its customers; and
(C) Perform Risk Assessments on its customers
RQIs And RFAs provide Corporate Secretarial Services for business entities, such as helping customers to incorporate Companies, file Annual Returns and fulfil other filing requirements under the Companies Act or other Acts under ACRA’s purview. RQIs And RFAs are required to perform Customer Due Diligence measures in accordance with the ACRA Regulations, and conduct their business in such a manner as to guard against the facilitation of money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
RQIs and RFAs must also satisfy statutory requirements such as being fit and proper persons in order to be registered or continue to be registered. RQIs and RFAs who breach their statutory obligations may be subject to enforcement actions or have their registrations with ACRA suspended or cancelled.
Therefore, RQIs and RFAs play an important role in helping to detect and combat illicit activities. They must help to spread the message that RQIs and RFAs are a vital professionals in ensuring a Company’s compliance with the law.