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Cyprus: Administrative Services Law revised

Elias Neocleous
The Law Regulating Companies Providing Administrative Services and Related Matters of 2012 (ASP Law) transposed the provisions of Directive 2005/60/EC into national law and provided Cyprus with an effective regulatory framework.

A number of practical issues and uncertainties have emerged since the law took effect. Following discussions between various stakeholders and the regulatory bodies concerned (the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, the Cyprus Bar Association and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus), the Law Regulating Companies Providing Administrative Services and Related Matters (Amendment) was enacted in July 2014 to resolve these issues.

The main amendments are as follows.

Companies offering administrative services only to members of the group of companies of which they are a member and private trustee companies belonging to the beneficiaries of the trust (or their close relatives) are excluded from the scope of the ASP Law (subject to certain conditions).

The role of protector of a trust is excluded from the scope of the ASP Law on the basis that the protector acts in a personal capacity – since the trustee is regulated, there is no need for the protector to be regulated as well.

An ambiguity in the ASP Law which might be interpreted as indicating that officers acting as signatories of bank accounts of certain companies require authorisation under the ASP Law has been removed.

Regulated occupational retirement benefit funds and foreign providers of custodian services that are appropriately regulated in their home jurisdiction are excluded from the scope of the ASP Law for prescribed purposes.

The information that the regulatory bodies are required to maintain in respect of ASPs is defined.

The amendments took effect at the end of July 2014.

Elias Neocleous

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