Asia

Topic: Financial Services

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HKMA publishes guidance on range of practices adopted by major banks for managing climate risks

Following the recent publication of a white paper setting out the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s (HKMA) initial thoughts on supervisory expectations for the management of climate risks (to read our blog post on this, please click here), the HKMA has issued a circular to provide greater detail on the relevant practices adopted by major banks … Continue Reading

HKMA publishes white paper on green and sustainable banking

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (the HKMA) has published a white paper outlining its initial views on the supervisory expectations for authorized institutions (AIs) in addressing climate-related issues. The development of the supervisory expectations forms part of the work envisaged under phase 2 of the three-phased approach introduced by the HKMA in May 2019, which … Continue Reading

Singapore company discloses potential US sanctions violations

On 28 May 2020, Flex Ltd (“Flex”), a Singapore-based electronics manufacturer listed on the NASDAQ, disclosed in its 2020 US Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filing that it had initiated a voluntary self-disclosure to the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) on 14 February 2019. The initial disclosure related to possible non-compliance with US … Continue Reading

HKMA revises supervisory policy manual modules CA-G-1 “Overview of Capital Adequacy Regime for Locally Incorporated Authorized Institutions” and RE-1 “Recovery Planning”

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has issued, by notice in the Gazette, revised versions of the Supervisory Policy Manual (SPM) modules CA-G-1 and RE-1 as statutory guidelines under section 7(3) of the Banking Ordinance.[1] CA-G-1 “Overview of Capital Adequacy Regime for Locally Incorporated Authorized Institutions” The changes incorporated in the revised SPM module CA-G-1 … Continue Reading

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

Further to the introduction of the Phase 2 temporary facilitative measures (TFMs) on 27 March 2020, the Insurance Authority (IA) has released a circular announcing that Phase 2 of the TFMs will be extended by three months in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Phase 2 TFMs (amongst other things) permit insurers and intermediaries to … Continue Reading

SFC publishes consultation conclusions on the proposed refinements to the scope of regulated activities and competence requirements under the OTC derivatives licensing regime

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has published its consultation conclusions on the proposed refinements to the scope of regulated activities and competence requirements relating to the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives licensing regime (the Consultation Conclusions) contained in its consultation paper dated 20 December 2017 (the Consultation Paper), following feedback from industry associations, market participants, professional … Continue Reading

HKMA publishes feedback from thematic reviews of AML and CFT control measures for remote customer on-boarding initiatives

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has published a circular setting out key observations and good practices relating to anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-financing of terrorism (CFT) control measures applicable to remote customer on-boarding initiatives. The feedback is based on recent thematic reviews, engagement with authorized institutions (AIs) and technology firms in the Fintech Supervisory … Continue Reading

HKMA publishes guidance on additional measures to alleviate the impact of COVID-19

Following the deferral of the implementation of Basel III announced by the Group of Central Bank Governors and Heads of Supervision on 27 March 2020, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) issued additional guidance[1] to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on the global banking system on 3 April 2020.  In light of this, the … Continue Reading

HKMA releases common assessment framework on green and sustainable banking

In May 2019, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) introduced a three-phased approach to support the development of green and sustainable banking in Hong Kong. The HKMA has now released the common assessment framework under Phase 1, following feedback received from the banking industry. The common assessment framework will be used to assess the “greenness” … Continue Reading

Roundup of green and sustainable finance regulatory developments

Earlier this month, a joint statement was issued in relation to the establishment of the Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group (the Steering Group). This follows a number of recent announcements aimed at supporting the development of sustainable finance in Hong Kong and highlights that tackling climate change remains a top priority for the … Continue Reading

SFC defers introduction of initial margin requirements for non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives in light of COVID-19

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has announced that the introduction of the initial margin (IM) requirements for non-centrally cleared OTC derivative transactions, initially scheduled to be phased-in from 1 September 2020, will be deferred by one year. To read our previous blog post on the SFC’s consultation conclusions on margin requirements for non-centrally cleared … Continue Reading

SFC provides guidance on managing cybersecurity risks associated with remote working

The Securities and Futures Commission (the SFC) has issued a circular to provide guidance to licensed corporations (LCs) on managing cybersecurity risks associated with remote working arrangements. The circular sets out some examples of controls and procedures that LCs can implement to protect their internal networks and data under remote working arrangements. The SFC expects … Continue Reading

SFC issues circular on futures-based ETFs in response to volatility in crude oil futures market

Amid concerns about extreme market conditions caused by volatility in the crude oil futures markets, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has issued a circular directed at management companies of SFC-authorized exchange traded funds (ETFs) and intermediaries, reminding them of their regulatory obligations, particularly in relation to activities involving futures-based ETFs.  A separate circular directed … Continue Reading

SFC provides risk management guidance to commodities futures brokers in response to volatility in crude oil futures market

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has published a circular directed at commodity futures brokers (brokers) requiring them to take precautionary measures to manage the risks of trading crude oil futures contracts amid unprecedented volatility seen in the crude oil futures markets. The SFC has cautioned brokers not to open new positions for clients who … Continue Reading

Revised capital rules gazetted to further enhance resilience of banking system

The Banking (Capital) (Amendment) Rules 2020 (BCAR Rules) were gazetted today (24 April 2020), bringing Hong Kong in line with the latest international standards on banking regulation issued by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. The BCAR Rules seek to introduce: a new method for calculating the exposure amount of counterparty credit risk arising from … Continue Reading

HKMA launches temporary US dollar liquidity facility

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has launched a temporary liquidity facility under which US$10 billion will be made available (the Facility) to assist licensed banks with US dollar liquidity.  The Facility will comprise of funds obtained through the US Federal Reserve’s FIMA Repo Facility (see our previous blog post here). US dollar liquidity will … Continue Reading

SFC reminds management companies and market makers of SFC-authorized ETFs of their regulatory obligations

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has issued a circular reminding management companies and market makers[1] of SFC-authorized exchange traded funds[2] (ETFs) of their regulatory obligations. The SFC has expressed concerns that management companies and market makers of ETFs may not be sufficiently prepared to respond to operational disruptions caused by COVID-19, following an incident … Continue Reading

Insurance amendment bills to strengthen Hong Kong’s position as a global risk management centre and regional insurance hub

The bills amending the Insurance Ordinance (Cap.41) (the IO) which are expected to help Hong Kong grow its insurance sector have now been published in the Gazette. The bills – namely, the Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2020 (the First Bill) and the Insurance (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 2020 (the Second Bill), seek to (i) introduce a new … Continue Reading

HKMA lowers regulatory reserve requirement for locally incorporated AIs amid Covid-19

Following earlier announcements, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has issued a circular confirming that, with immediate effect, the regulatory reserve[1] requirement for locally incorporated authorized institutions (AIs) will be reduced by 50%.  The reserves released by this move will provide AIs with additional lending capacity to support customers impacted by COVID-19.  Reserves released should … Continue Reading

SFC extends certain regulatory compliance deadlines by 6 months in light of COVID-19 pandemic

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing disruption to the securities industry, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has announced, in its recent circular, that it will extend various upcoming regulatory compliance deadlines by a period of six months.  In the same circular, the SFC has also reminded intermediaries of the alternative order recording … Continue Reading

HKMA introduces liquidity measures to assist banking industry in response to COVID-19 outbreak

To ensure the continued smooth operation of the interbank market given current economic conditions, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has rolled out measures to assist the banking industry in managing liquidity. In its recent circular setting out such measures, the HKMA has noted occasional tightness in the Hong Kong dollar money market, caused principally … Continue Reading

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 pandemic

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
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