The Cyprus Security and Exchange Commission (CySEC) is the independent public supervisory authority of the securities market and one of the three authorities that regulate the financial sector in Cyprus. CySEC is responsible for the overall supervision of the securities market and the supervision of the transactions in transferable securities carried out in and outside Cyprus when it comes to transactions of entities supervised by CySEC. Pointing out that CySEC’s mission is “to exercise effective supervision to ensure investor protection through the regulatory compliance of the entities under our supervision, as well as the healthy development of the financial industry”, Chairwoman Demetra Kalogerou discusses CySEC’s position, authorization, vision and challenges.
European Times: What are CySEC’s main responsibilities?
Demetra Kalogerou: Our supervisory remit has widened substantially to include new groups of firms and products, including collective investment schemes, fund managers, and administrative service providers. Currently CySEC regulates 616 entities, including 223 investment firms licensed under the MiFID regime, and soon the MiFID II regime. Many Cypriot investment firms are part of ‘FinTech’, a financial technology ecosystem that enhanced economic growth and employment and transforms Cyprus into one of Europe’s cornerstones for financial services and financial technology innovation. We offer a highly sophisticated pool of financial and professional services which, combined with the competitive framework, put Cyprus among the top choices for foreign investors outside the EU who wish to gain access to the region’s deep capital markets. CySEC plays an important role in making the Cyprus securities market more attractive for foreign investors, especially through establishing a fair and lawful jurisdiction for doing business and maintaining high standards of investor protection and investor confidence.
European Times: What are the Commission’s challenges?
Demetra Kalogerou: All regulatory bodies in Europe and abroad face similar challenges. The first challenge is the implementation of MiFID II/MIFIR, which will radically change the financial sector. The second challenge is the implementation of the 4th EU AML Directive, which is widely considered to be the most sweeping AML legislation in Europe in several years and aims to increase transparency and strengthen EU anti-money laundering toolbox.The third challenge is financial technology and innovation, such as crowdfunding, blockchain and the crypto currencies. In 2016, FinTech emerged as a significant market force which challenged the financial services industry and its regulatory structure.
European Times: What is your personal message?
Demetra Kalogerou: By fostering trust, responsibility, innovation and education, CySEC’s vision is to promote the Cyprus securities market as one of the safest and most reliable destinations for investments. CySEC remains focused on establishing good corporate governance and culture of ethics in supervised entities, which will reflect the core principles of integrity, transparency and accountability. Furthermore, we are committed to sustaining Cyprus’s position among Europe’s cornerstones for financial services and financial technology innovation and implementation. FinTech is fundamentally transforming the global finance industry, ensuring that more diverse financial products and services reach more diverse locations and sectors. Whilst the global financial industry is faced with many challenges and increased turmoil, financial technology can bring back the entrepreneurial dynamics and have a substantial contribution towards higher economic growth.