Accountancy bodies secure injunction against misleading institute

ICAEW, ICAS and Chartered Accountants Ireland have obtained a High Court injunction to ban a European organisation and its directors from misleading the public by offering chartered accountancy qualifications despite not being a recognised body.

The three accounting bodies took action after a Brussels-based organisation calling itself 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 and has been therefore misleading the public about the qualifications it offered and its status as a chartered body.

ICAEW, ICAS and Chartered Accountants Ireland obtained the High Court injunction against the EICA and its directors, Muhammad Javaid Iqbal and Vesela Kirilova Stavreva, earlier this month.

The court order bans the company and its directors from passing themselves off as having any connection to ICAEW, ICAS or Chartered Accountants Ireland. They are also banned from using the descriptions ‘chartered accountants’, ‘CA’ or ‘FCA’ in relation to the provision of education, certification or training.

Failure to comply with the order could result in the directors being held in contempt of court.

A spokesperson for the three chartered bodies 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.

“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.”