The Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) has revised its Financial Services Framework Regulations (FSFR) and made a number of changes to them and other relevant rules. The amendments aim to ensure that the Astana International Financial Centre remains aligned with the International Organization of Securities Commissions’ principles. To enhance alignment with international standards, AFSA will increase its level of oversight in relation to Ancillary Service Providers (ASPs) in areas relating to ongoing supervision, inspections and enforcement.
The other key enhancements include but are not limited to clarifying the application of Schedule 1 (Decision-making procedures of the AFSA) to the FSFR, making the relevant editorial changes, and extending AFSA’s powers in relevant areas. It is expected that the clarification of the application of Schedule 1 to the FSFR will provide AIFC Participants with certainty on which cases the regulator will follow the decision-making procedures (i.e., giving the Preliminary and Decision notices).
The FSFR will also include some new provisions (e.g., principles of good regulation, extended jurisdiction, third party rights) which were drafted based on comparison with other peer jurisdictions’ legal frameworks. In addition to the FSFR, some other AIFC rules were amended as well. As a result, the changes made to the AIFC General Rules will now transfer the Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) from the list of Designated Individuals to the list of Approved Individuals. This amendment is important as the MLRO’s position is crucial within a business. The duties of the MLRO may involve serious legal consequences that may result in civil and criminal action; therefore, AFSA needs to ensure that the proposed individual for appointment is fit and proper.
Amendments to the AIFC Financial Services Framework Regulations, and consequential amendments to AIFC Conduct of Business Rules, AIFC General Rules, and AIFC Glossary are published on the AIFC website and will come into force on 1 January 2024.
The Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) is the independent regulator of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), which is established in accordance with the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On the Astana International Financial Centre” for the purposes of regulating financial services and related activities in the AIFC. AFSA administers the AIFC Regulations and Rules and is responsible for the authorisation, registration, recognition and supervision of financial firms and market institutions in the AIFC.
Over 2,200 firms from 78 countries are registered in the AIFC. These firms provide banking, insurance, investment, professional and other services. The range of financial services offered at the AIFC is comparable to the list of services available in long-established financial centers of the world, such as London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and others. www.afsa.kz
The Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) is an independent jurisdiction with a favourable legal and regulatory environment and a developed infrastructure for starting and doing business, attracting investment, creating jobs and developing Kazakhstan's economy. https://aifc.kz/
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