On Wednesday, June 27th, 2018, the Cyprus Fiduciary Association held its 6th Annual General Meeting at the Hilton Cyprus Hotel in Nicosia.
The AGM was attended by the Minister of Finance, Mr. Harris Georgiades, the Commissioner for Personal Data Protection, Mrs Irene Loizidou Nicolaidou, the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver, Mr Spyros Kokkinos, the Tax Commissioner, Mr Yiannis Tsangaris, the Member of the Parliament Mr Marios Mavrides, the President of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency, Mr Michalis Michael, the General Manager of ICPAC, Mr Kyriacos Iordanou and the President of the Cyprus Investment Funds Association, Mr Angelos Gregoriades.
In his speech, the Minister of Finance initially referred to the overall positive progress achieved by the Cyprus economy, pointing out the important contribution of the fiduciary services sector and noting the need for a constructive dialogue between all stakeholders. According to Mr Georgiades, the Cyprus economy still faces significant challenges particularly in the banking sector and stressed the governments’ determination to undertake decisive measures that will ensure sustainable growth and create solid foundations for a stable and healthy economy. The Minister further referred to the need of full compliance by Cyprus with all the European and International regulations that have imposed huge obligations both to the supervisory authorities and the supervised entities. According to the Minister it is important that such compliance and effective supervision is achieved without undermining the country’s growth potentials.
The Commissioner for Personal Data Protection, thanking the Association for the invitation and the opportunity to address the AGM, referred to the implementation of the new GDPR regulation. Specifically the Commissioner pointed out the importance of the new regulation as well as the new and big changes that are introduced by its implementation. Reference was made to accountability and transparency as the two main driving forces of GDPR while special reference was made to the other provisions and changes introduced such the need for Data Protection Impact Assessment, Data breach reporting, the increased responsibilities for data processors and the attention that should be given to transfers of data to third countries.
The Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver, in his address initially referred to the mission of his Department, being the implementation of government policy, on matters facilitating the development of business activity and the creation and maintenance of suitable conditions for further development of the commercial and industrial world in Cyprus and abroad. Mr Kokkinos, referred to the ongoing reforms and restructuring of the Department that will allow Cyprus to maintain its competitive advantage by increasing efficiency. In addition, the Registrar made special reference to the digitalization of procedures of the Companies Section, an action which has helped to ease off the work load for all parties. Finally, Mr Kokkinos made special reference to the recent amendment of the Companies Law in relation to the financial statements, administrative reports and the Auditor’s Reports. According to Mr Kokkinos, amongst the most important features are the new thresholds for small medium and large companies and group of companies and the Interconnection of Business Registries (BRIS) which facilitates the recovery of company documents throughout the EU.
In his speech, the President of the Association Mr Christos Michael, firstly welcomed all the participants and thanked them for their participation to the AGM and referred to the important role that the Association plays in promoting, upgrading and maintaining the competitiveness of Cyprus as an international centre for financial and administrative services. Mr Michael pointed out the alignment of the Association’s objectives with those set by the Government, in particular with regards to maintaining and improving the reputation of Cyprus as an international business centre, the development and enhancement of the offering of Cyprus and full compliance with European and International legislation and regulation.
The President further referred to the huge changes and challenges that the international financial services industry is facing both in terms of volume and reach and indicated the need for the creation of a specific strategic plan capable of addressing them. According to Mr Michael, there is a need for redefining the existing business model in its totality as the current and upcoming international developments lead the current outdated model to a complete collapse.
The President further stressed the need for coordination and consultation between all the relevant stakeholders for the construction of the strategic plan, as private initiatives are no longer adequate for Cyprus to regain its competitive advantage. Furthermore, Mr Michael referred to the fact that Cyprus reputation as an international financial centre is constantly under fire not only by external pressure but also by repeated internal mistakes and omissions and stressed the need for its restoration and further improvement. According to Mr Michael preserving Cyprus reputation is one of the main objectives of the Association and expressed the Board’s commitment towards raising the standards of the administrative service industry.
Finally, the President of the Association stressed the need for the formation of a single Financial Services Authority that will define the policy and the priorities of the Financial Services Industry and will coordinate the formation of a common strategic plan which will harmonise the actions and behaviour of all relevant stakeholders, including the supervisory authorities, the legislative body and the private sector.
The AGM concluded with the voting and approval of the audited financial statements of 2018, and the election of the new Board of Directors for the next two years, as follows:
1. Abacus Ltd, Sophia Ioannou
2. Bizserve Consultants Ltd, Christophoros Koutouroushis
3. First Names (Cyprus) Ltd, Christos Michael
4. Guricon Limited, Tasos Michael
5. Intertrust (Cyprus) Ltd, George Konstantinou
6. Opus Services Limited, Marina Pittalis
7. Pageserve Ltd, Lia Iordanou Theodoulou
8. Proteas Management Services Ltd, Charalambos Hadjisavvas
9. TFM Group, John Diola
10. Trident Trust Co (Cyprus) Ltd, Andreas Mercouri
11. Vistra (Cyprus) Ltd, Nick Terry