Fit & Proper Criteria for Approval of Compliance Officers

Fit and Proper Criteria for approval of Compliance officers Pursuant to Regulation 4(2) of the Financial Obligations Regulations, 2010

In furtherance of its functions, the Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission (the Commission) is charged with the responsibility of assessing the requirements of persons conducting regulated activities. This document sets out the criteria which will be considered by the Commission when reviewing the application of a person to be designated as the AML/CFT Compliance Officer for his/her respective organisation. The Commission will grant approval for a person to perform regulated activity only if satisfied that the person is fit and proper. Once approved, a person is expected to remain fit and proper. The Commission reserves the right to review the criteria and to make changes where it deems necessary.

  1. In considering whether a person is fit and proper for approval to the position of Compliance Officer, the Commission shall, in addition to any other matter that the Commission may consider relevant, have regard to-
    1. the educational or other qualifications or experience of the person, having regard to the nature of the functions that, if the application is allowed or granted, the person will perform;
    2. the professional experience and memberships possessed by the person – A thorough understanding of the nature of the business,  AML/CFT and or experience in  compliance and or risk management, law enforcement etc. may be considered favourably ;
    3. the ability of the person to carry on the regulated activity competently, honestly and fairly; and
    4. the reputation, character, reliability and financial integrity, of the person; and
    5. the financial status of the person;
  2. In accessing the criteria in sub-points (c) to (d) above, the Commission  may take into account –
    1. whether the person has been charged or convicted of an offence in Trinidad and Tobago or elsewhere;
    2. whether the person has an employment record which leads the Commission to believe that the person carried out an act of impropriety in the handling of his employer’s business;
    3. whether the person has been the subject of an investigation conducted by a regulatory or criminal investigative body;
    4. whether the person has been barred from working or otherwise holding a position of a senior officer within an entity which conducts business in the financial or securities industry of Trinidad and Tobago or elsewhere by the Commission, another regulator or court of law;
    5. whether he has engaged in or been associated with any other business practices or otherwise conducted himself in such a way as to cast doubt on his competence or soundness of judgement;  and
    6. whether the person was a senior officer of a company which was:
      1. disqualified by any professional or regulatory body in relation to any trade, business or profession while he was a senior officer of that company; and
      2. the subject of an investigation conducted by a regulatory or criminal investigative body while he was a senior officer of that company.

Additionally, the Commission may request supplemental information for consideration with respect to the following “position characteristics”:

  1. The position held by the AML/CFT Compliance Officer – the position should be set “at the management level” so as to ensure the position holder can effectively carry out their duties, which includes reporting to, and gaining support from, the Board (or equivalent executive body), identify major deficiencies in their AML/CTF program and effect change where required;
  2. Reporting Lines – There should be a direct reporting line to the Board of Directors or at least a relevant subcommittee of the Board;
  3. Resources – Is there a demonstration of sufficient resources to effectively carry out their responsibilities as AML/CFT compliance officer such as staff assigned to assisting in AML/CFT Monitoring compared to the number of employees in organisation;
  4. Time devoted to AML/CFT matters -The amount of time spent carrying out their AML/CFT responsibilities versus time spent attending to functions unrelated to AML/CFT. While it is expected that many AML/CFT Compliance Officers will also conduct non-AML/CFT related activities, the extent of time undertaking other activities in addition to their AML/CFT-related responsibilities may be considered as it impacts the execution of the role; and
  5. Performance Bonuses to which the person is entitled.

 “Regulated Activity” means the activity carried on or proposed to be carried on by the person that is required to be registered under the Act.

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