Asia

Topic: Financial Services

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Deferral of Basel III implementation and HKMA’s supervisory actions in response to COVID-19

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has issued a circular announcing that it will defer the implementation of the Basel III final reform package,[1] in line with the revised timeline announced by the Group of Central Bank Governors and Heads of Supervision (GHOS), the oversight body of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS). The … Continue Reading

HKMA issues guidance to registered institutions on regulatory expectations following circulars published by the SFC

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (the HKMA) has issued a circular to registered institutions (RIs) drawing their attention to the circulars recently published by the Securities and Futures Commission (the SFC), namely: (i) circular on extended deadlines for implementation of regulatory expectations and reminder of order recording requirements under COVID-19 pandemic (the Order Recording Circular) … Continue Reading

SFC issues guidance on licensing related matters in light of the COVID-19

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has published a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on licensing related matters to facilitate intermediaries and licensing applicants in navigating their compliance challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The SFC aims to provide regulatory flexibility whilst ensuring that market integrity and investor protection principles are maintained. The FAQs cover … Continue Reading

SFC issues circular to fund industry participants in view of market volatility caused by COVID-19

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has published a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on licensing related matters to facilitate intermediaries and licensing applicants in navigating their compliance challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The SFC aims to provide regulatory flexibility whilst ensuring that market integrity and investor protection principles are maintained. The FAQs cover … Continue Reading

SFC issues reminder on suitability obligations and timely dissemination of information given market volatility caused by COVID-19

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has issued a circular to intermediaries reminding licensed and registered persons to take extra care to comply with their Code of Conduct[1] obligations to ensure that they are acting in their clients’ best interests given the potential impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on market volatility and liquidity, as well … Continue Reading

Insurance Authority implements Phase 2 of temporary facilitative measures in light of COVID-19

Further to the Phase 1 temporary facilitative measures (TFMs) introduced by the Insurance Authority (IA) on 21 February 2020, the IA has announced the second phase of TFMs in view of the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to reduce the risk of infection from in person meetings during the sales process for insurance … Continue Reading

HKMA issues guidance on risk management practices for algorithmic trading

In response to the increasing prevalence of algorithmic trading (algo-trading) in the banking industry (e.g. for executing trade orders and market making for foreign exchange-related transactions), the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (the HKMA) has issued a circular setting out its supervisory expectations with regard to risk management practices for algo-trading activities which authorized institutions (AIs) … Continue Reading

HKMA issues consultation paper on rules for contractual stays on termination rights in non-Hong Kong law governed financial contracts

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (the HKMA) has published a consultation paper (the Consultation) on rules relating to contractual stays on termination rights in certain financial contracts (Stay Rules) for authorized institutions (AIs) under the Financial Institutions (Resolution) Ordinance (FIRO). The Stay Rules require in scope AIs to adopt appropriate provisions in certain non-Hong Kong … Continue Reading

SFC releases consultation conclusions on margin requirements for non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has issued its consultation conclusions on the proposed margin requirements for non-centrally cleared OTC derivative transactions set out in its consultation paper issued on 19 June 2018 (the Consultation Paper) following submissions from industry associations, market participants and other stakeholders. By way of recap, the Consultation Paper contains proposals … Continue Reading

SFC provides licensing guidance for private equity firms and family offices

On 7 January 2020, the SFC issued guidance on the licensing obligations of private equity (PE) firms and family offices which conduct business in Hong Kong. This guidance took the form of two circulars, the first of which relates to PE firms (the First Circular) and the second relates to family offices (the Second Circular). … Continue Reading

MAS Consultation Paper on Proposed Regulatory Approach for Derivatives Contracts on Payment Tokens

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) recently issued a consultation paper setting out its proposed regulatory approach for derivatives contracts that reference payment tokens as underlying assets (Payment Token Derivatives). What is this approach meant to address? A well-regulated market for derivatives – particularly one anchored by institutional investors with sophisticated risk management and investment … Continue Reading

SFC issues guidance to asset managers to tackle market misconduct

The SFC has identified a growing number of arrangements and transactions involving dubious private funds or discretionary accounts during recent inspections conducted on asset managers, raising concerns that asset managers are simply following investor’s instructions when structuring private funds or discretionary accounts and effecting transactions, and turning a blind eye to potential red flags. The … Continue Reading

ASIFMA launches new industry white paper on Tokenised Securities

We have recently partnered with the Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (ASIFMA) on its new industry white paper titled, “Tokenised Securities – A Roadmap for Market Participants and Regulators.” The report analyses how the new value chain will impact market participants, including incumbent financial institutions (FIs) and issuers, and looks at areas they … Continue Reading

The SFC announces new regulatory framework for virtual assets trading platforms

At the Hong Kong Fintech week, the Chief Executive Officer of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), Mr Ashley Alder, announced the rollout of a new regulatory framework for virtual asset trading platforms.  The regulation of virtual asset trading platforms (and whether they should fall within the SFC’s regulatory oversight) has been a key regulatory … Continue Reading

The HKMA issues guidance on use of artificial intelligence by banks

In response to the growing use of artificial intelligence (AI) by banks, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has provided guidance to the banking industry on the use of AI applications.  These are high level principles (set out briefly below) which banks are expected to take into account when designing and adopting their AI and … Continue Reading

Financial services monthly wrap up – October 2019

In October 2019, the much-anticipated bill to end grandfathered conflicted remuneration was passed, with the ban effective from 1 January 2021. There have also been recent developments in the Courts in relation to the definition of personal advice as well as a joint ASIC report on the role and shortcomings of disclosure in financial services. … Continue Reading

The HKMA clarifies consumer protection expectations under Open API Framework

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (the HKMA) has issued a circular to authorized institutions (AIs) to clarify expectations around the minimum level of consumer protection required under the Open API Framework.  For background information on Hong Kong’s Open API Framework, please refer to our previous blog post on its initial launch here as well as … Continue Reading

The HKMA revises SPM on risk management of e-banking

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has revised its supervisory policy manual module TM-E-1 (SPM) on risk management of e-banking.  This SPM is a non-statutory guideline issued as a guidance note. The revisions are intended to strengthen risk management controls for e-banking given the rise in cyber threats and fraud risks, introduce changes to cater for … Continue Reading

Enhancements to investor compensation regime gazetted – effective 1 January 2020

On 11 October 2019, the Government and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) published the Securities and Futures (Investor Compensation – Levy) (Amendment) Rules 2019, the Securities and Futures (Investor Compensation – Compensation Limits) (Amendment) Rules 2019 and the Securities and Futures (Investor Compensation – Claims) (Amendment) Rules 2019 (together, the IC Amendment Rules) in … Continue Reading

SFC publishes pro-forma terms and conditions for licensed corporations which manage portfolios that invest in virtual assets

On 4 October 2019, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) published the pro forma terms and conditions (the Terms and Conditions) applicable to licensed corporations managing a fund (or portion of a fund) that invests in virtual assets and meet the de minimis threshold [1] (Virtual Assets Fund Manager) . This follows the SFC’s earlier … Continue Reading

SFC consults on new regulatory regime for depositaries of SFC-authorized collective investment schemes

On 27 September 2019, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a consultation paper on the proposed regulatory regime for depositaries of SFC authorised collective investment schemes (the Proposals). The Proposals, which are part of the SFC’s strategy to strengthen Hong Kong as an international, full service asset management centre and to enhance the regulation … Continue Reading

German regulator updates its guidance on the EU-US Covered Agreement

The German regulator BaFin has updated its guidance on the conduct of reinsurance business by US insurers in Germany under the provisions of the 2017 EU-US Covered Agreement (“Bilateral Agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on prudential measures regarding insurance and reinsurance”). An English language version has also been published, … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: The HKMA introduces a new Resolution Facility for banks

On 26 August 2019, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced that it has completed a review of its framework for the provision of Hong Kong dollar liquidity (the Liquidity Facilities Framework) to authorized institutions (AIs) in light of its ongoing work on Hong Kong’s resolution regime.  As part of this, the HKMA has introduced … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Insurance Authority to take over regulation of intermediaries from 23 September 2019

With effect from 23 September 2019, the Hong Kong Insurance Authority (the IA), an independent statutory body, will take over regulation of insurance intermediaries from the three existing self-regulatory organisations (the Hong Kong Confederation of Insurance Brokers, the Professional Insurance Brokers Association, and Insurance Agents Registration Board) and administer a new statutory licensing regime. The … Continue Reading
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