ICAS, ICAEW and Chartered Accountants Ireland have together obtained a High Court injunction to ban an institute and its directors from “misleading the public”, after it offered chartered accountancy qualifications despite not being a recognised body.
The injunction was sought after a Brussels-based organisation, dubbed the European Institute of Chartered Accountants, started trading online, offering “misleading qualifications and professional development, as well as use of the designations FCA and CA”.
The EICA is not recognised as a chartered or qualification awarding body, however, and has been “therefore misleading the public about the qualifications it offered and its status as a chartered body”.
ICAS, ICAEW and Chartered Accountants Ireland secured the injunction against the EICA and its directors, Muhammad Javaid Iqbal and Vesela Kirilova Stavreva, earlier this month.
The injunction now bans the company and its directors from “passing themselves off as having any connection to ICAS, ICAEW or Chartered Accountants Ireland”.
The institute is also banned from using ‘chartered accountants’, ‘CA’ or ‘FCA’ in relation to the provision of education, certification or training. Failure to comply with the order could lead to the directors being held in contempt of court.
Spokespeople for ICAS, ICAEW and Chartered Accountants Ireland, said: “The European Institute of Chartered Accountants, also known as EICA, is not recognised as a chartered or qualification awarding body and is therefore misleading people about the nature and standing of the qualifications it offers.
“It’s important that people have trust in chartered accountants, so we work hard to maintain the integrity of our qualifications and the description ‘chartered accountant’, and to prevent the public from being misled. We are pleased the High Court recognised the importance of this.”
They added: “We invest heavily in brand protection for the benefit of our membership and we do not tolerate misuse or misrepresentation. We will not hesitate to take action where necessary.”