On March 9 2016, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange
Commission (CySEC) published its review of market developments
and work carried out in 2015. It also set out its action plan
for developing Cyprus' capital market and financial sector.
Despite competition from other jurisdictions, CySEC continues
to receive an unprecedented number of new applications for
licences. During 2015 the number of regulated entities it
supervises increased to more than 550.
During 2015 CySEC carried out extensive investigations into
the banking sector, particularly into the events which led up
to the 2013 banking crisis. As a result of these investigations
it imposed administrative fines amounting to €9 million
(approximately $10.2 million) and reported specific issues to
the appropriate authorities for criminal investigation.
It also increased supervisory controls of Cyprus investment
firms (CIFs) and introduced stringent new measures to improve
compliance on the part of regulated entities. The aim was to
improve investor protection through more effective market and
stakeholder supervision. Comprehensive on-site checks were
carried out on CIFs and fines amounting to €2.6 million
were imposed in respect of breaches disclosed. In addition,
recommendations were made for the CIFs concerned to improve
their internal procedures so as to fully comply with their
obligations. CIFs must implement these measures within a
prescribed time, at the end of which CySEC will re-assess their
compliance. CySEC also investigated complaints filed by
investors against regulated entities, and issued public
warnings to investors on the risks of investing in complex
One of CySEC's priorities for 2015 was the prevention of
money laundering. During the year it established a specialised
department to monitor regulated entities' compliance with
anti-money laundering requirements and to organise training
events for regulated entities.
During 2016, CySEC intends to focus on three key areas,
namely: rigorous market supervision; sanctions against those
who violate the law; and ensuring the healthy development of
the market through substantial improvements to procedures and
enhanced investor protection.