Enforcement issues are an important part of the AIFC regulatory regime and plays a significant role in helping to achieve the AFSA’s objectives.
The AFSA has a wide range of powers at its disposal which it uses strategically to prevent, detect and restrain conduct which may cause damage to the reputation or integrity of the AIFC. The enforcement strategy is targeted but flexible, and the AFSA focuses its enforcement powers on those areas which pose the greatest risk to the Regulatory Authority’s objectives. This ensures that a proportionate response is taken to identified risks.
In taking regulatory action in terms of Enforcement uses the following principles:
·procedural fairness and integrity
·keeping the AIFC financial services community informed
·cooperation and mutual assistance
These principles form the basis of the policies, processes and procedures applied by the AFSA and are more fully set out in the Enforcement Policy 2019. The Enforcement Policy sets out the Regulatory Authority’s approach to enforcement and will be of assistance to those firms and individuals that are subject to enforcement action by the AFSA. It also gives assurance that those affected by enforcement actions will be treated in a fair and consistent manner. AFSA’s Enforcement Policy statement is available here.
Not all enforcement investigations lead to disciplinary action. However, where misconduct is identified and disciplinary action is appropriate, the AFSA has a range of sanctions available – these include prohibition, withdrawal of approval or authorisation, public censure and the power to impose financial penalties. These sanctions are designed to allow the Astana Financial Services Authority to deliver strong, visible outcomes. The publicity given to enforcement actions is also important, not only to ensure transparency of the AFSA’s actions, but also to deter other firms and individuals from committing similar contraventions.
AFSA is committed to ensuring it operates a process which is, and is seen to be, fair and effective.