Nicholas Wilson (HK)

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In September 2017, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) launched seven initiatives aimed at creating a “new era of smart banking”. The HKMA has recently published consultation papers relating to two of these. Firstly, on 11 January 2018, the HKMA launched an industry consultation setting out its planned approach to Open Application Programming Interfaces (Open API), and secondly on 6 February 2018, the HKMA published revised guidelines on the authorization of virtual banks for public…
On 5 January 2018, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) issued a circular setting out guidance relating to the implementation of changes to the paragraphs of the Code of Conduct for Persons Licensed by or Registered with the SFC (Code) relating to: (i) ‘Disclosure of monetary and non-monetary benefits’ (paragraph 8.3), and (ii) ‘Independence’ (paragraph 10.2) (the New Circular). The Code changes will become effective on 17 August 2018. The Securities and Futures Commission published…
On 12 December 2017, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued an updated guidance note regarding the benefits of cooperating on its investigations and enforcement proceedings (Guidance Note). The SFC also published a new set of Frequently Asked Questions to supplement the Guidance Note (FAQs). As noted in the FAQs, one of the key changes in the Guidance Note is the inclusion of an updated section on disciplinary matters. In particular, the SFC has divided…
On 24 November 2017, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a joint circular on the results of their joint review on the potential conflicts of interest which may arise from the sale of in-house products by licensed corporations and registered institutions (collectively, intermediaries) within a single financial group. The circular focuses on internal controls and compliance and aims to provide the basis for unified regulatory standards for…
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) are increasingly focused on cyber security in light of the threat posed to the integrity, efficiency and soundness of financial markets by cyber threats and hacks. On 27 October 2017, the SFC issued new Guidelines for Reducing and Mitigating Hacking Risks Associated with Internet Trading (Guidelines). The Guidelines set out 20 minimum requirements aimed at enhancing cyber security and reducing the risks…
On 16 October 2017, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HMKA) issued a circular on management responsibilities for Hong Kong licensed banks which conduct regulated activities (registered institutions). The circular is intended to supplement the existing management prudential regime under the Banking Ordinance framework. Pursuant to the circular, registered institutions are required to notify the HKMA and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of details of the individuals who are responsible for their regulated activity business.…
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) this week outlined an optimistic vision for the future of Hong Kong as a continued pre-eminent global financial centre, especially in relation to its position as the main conduit to the Chinese Mainland, based on the increased collaboration and more effective enforcement measures set out below. Ashley Alder, chief executive, and Thomas Atkinson, head of enforcement, speaking at the Pan Asian Regulatory Summit on 10 and 11 October 2017…
On 29 September 2017, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced a range of initiatives aimed at preparing Hong Kong for a new era of smarter banking driven by technological advances. The HKMA press releases were announced on the same day as, and supplement, announcements by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Insurance Authority (IA) concerning Hong Kong fintech initiatives. The key initiatives announced by the HKMA include (amongst others): Faster Payment System…
On 29 September 2017, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a circular announcing the launch of the SFC Regulatory Sandbox (the Sandbox) which aims to regulate qualified firms conducting regulated activities under the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO) in the financial technologies (Fintech) sphere. The circular was issued in tandem with announcements by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Insurance Authority (IA) regarding their respective Fintech initiatives. Due to the often novel…
On 28 September 2017, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) issued a circular on the Global Code of Conduct Standards and Practices for the Wholesale Foreign Exchange Market (the FX Global Code). The circular notes that the Hong Kong Treasury Markets Association (TMA) has incorporated the FX Global Code into its Code of Conduct. In accordance with HKMA Supervisory Policy Manual module CG-6 “Competence and Ethical Behaviour”, the HKMA now expects all authorized institutions to…