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SFC launches consultation on anti-money laundering guidelines

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The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) today launched a three-month consultation on proposals to amend its anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) guidelines (Note 1).

The proposed amendments would facilitate the adoption of a risk-based approach to AML/CFT measures by the securities industry (Note 2). They address some areas for enhancement identified in the latest Mutual Evaluation Report of Hong Kong (Note 3) published by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The amendments also include additional measures which would help mitigate risks associated with business arrangements such as cross-border correspondent relationships (Note 4).

“The proposed amendments align with the latest international standards and provide useful guidance for firms to apply these important measures in a more risk-sensitive manner,” said Mr Ashley Alder, the SFC’s Chief Executive Officer. “This will help the securities industry combat money laundering and terrorist financing more effectively, having regard to the specific nature of the risks they face.”

Market participants and other interested parties are invited to submit their comments to the SFC on or before 18 December 2020 via the SFC website (www.sfc.hk), by email ([email protected]), by post or by fax to 2284 4660.

Notes:

  1. The consultation paper seeks comments on the proposed amendments and indicative drafts of the revised Guideline on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (For Licensed Corporations) and revised Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Guideline issued by the Securities and Futures Commission for Associated Entities.
  2. Under a risk-based approach, the extent of customer due diligence measures and ongoing monitoring should be determined with reference to the assessed money laundering and terrorist financing risks associated with the customer or business relationship. The proposed amendments provide further guidance to the securities industry on implementing AML/CFT measures in a risk-sensitive manner with reference to the Guidance for a Risk-based Approach for the Securities Sector published by the FATF on 26 October 2018.
  3. See the SFC’s 6 September 2019 circular titled “Publication of Hong Kong’s Mutual Evaluation Report by FATF“.
  4. For example, when a Hong Kong securities broker executes trades for an overseas broker who acts for or on behalf of its own customers.

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Regulator Information

Abbreviation: SFC
Jurisdiction: Hong Kong

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