SICAV fund fined over ‘millions invested without strong controls’

Maltese investment fund Southern Cross SICAV has been fined 303,710 euros for “breaches” of its anti-money laundering obligations, the island’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) said in a public notice published on Tuesday. January 5.

FIAU, which has been in operation since 1 October 2002, is the national central agency in Malta which is responsible for the collection, collation, processing, analysis and dissemination of information to combat money laundering. money and the financing of terrorism.

Although the fund is about to surrender its MFSA license, FIAU has imposed the fine for Southern Cross Sicav’s “lack of consideration” of its anti-money laundering obligations which it says , could have had an impact not only on its own operations, but also had repercussions on Malta.

The Company’s lack of compliance with its AML/CFT obligations could have impacted not only its own operations, but also had implications for the local jurisdiction.”

FIAU found that Southern Cross failed to adequately document its internal anti-money laundering procedures and failed to properly screen its customers before accepting their money.

He said: “In determining the administrative penalty, the committee also considered that the company had commenced the process of returning its collective investment scheme license to the MFSA. If this process had not been initiated, a follow-up directive would have been initiated by the Committee.

“In addition, careful consideration has been given to the nature of the services and products offered by the Company and the size of its business activities, including the closure of its business.

He added: “The Committee also took into account that the requirements breached are material obligations and that the breaches are of a serious nature, given that the Company was serving professional investors, thereby enabling millions of be invested through the SICAV, without strong controls in place.

“The company’s lack of compliance with its AML/CFT obligations could have impacted not only its own operations, but also impacted the local jurisdiction.”

To read all the details in the notice, click here.

James V. Hayes