Topic: Financial Services

Subscribe to Financial Services RSS feed

Singapore toughens laws to combat financial crime and money laundering

On 9 May 2023, the Singapore Parliament passed amendments to the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act 1992 (CDSA) which will introduce significant new offences of rash and negligent money laundering. Under the current law, the successful prosecution of money mules (i.e., those who assist with the transfer of illicit funds … Continue Reading

Hong Kong High Court rules for the first time: cryptocurrencies are “property” capable of being held on trust

Introduction In a landmark decision on the legal status of digital assets in Hong Kong handed down on 31 March 2023, the Court of First Instance, in Re Gatecoin Limited[1], has ruled that cryptocurrencies satisfy the definition of “property” under Hong Kong law and are capable of being held on trust. The case arose in connection … Continue Reading

Proposed amendments to implement a risk-based capital regime for the Hong Kong insurance industry

The Insurance Ordinance (Amendment) Bill (the Bill) was published by the Hong Kong Government (Government) in the Gazette on 6 April 2023. The Bill seeks to amend the Insurance Ordinance (Cap.41) (the IO) and other relevant legislation to provide the legal framework for the implementation of a risk-based capital (RBC) regime for the Hong Kong … Continue Reading

FSTB consults on expanding crowdfunding regulations in Hong Kong

Introduction On 19 December 2022, the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (the FSTB) published a consultation paper (the Consultation) on proposals to enhance the regulation of crowdfunding activities in Hong Kong. The Consultation includes various recommendations on enhancing the transparency and accountability of crowdfunding activities in Hong Kong, and includes a requirement for persons … Continue Reading

HKMA issues consultation conclusions on the stablecoin regulatory regime

Introduction On 31 January 2023, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (the HKMA) issued its consultation conclusions on the proposed regulatory regime for crypto-assets and stablecoins (the Conclusions). The Conclusions confirm the HKMA’s plan to implement a regulatory regime for stablecoins and specified stablecoin-related activities (the Regime). The Conclusions follow the HKMA’s discussion paper on crypto-assets … Continue Reading

The FSRA publishes its principles for virtual asset regulation and supervision

How should we regulate virtual assets? This is a question on the mind of almost every financial services regulator in the world. Many have adopted a very cautious and in some cases a prohibitory approach. However, the Abu Dhabi Global Market’s (ADGM) Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) has taken a more innovative and pragmatic approach … Continue Reading

Coming soon – The new Hong Kong VASP licensing regime

Introduction In May 2021, following a 3 month consultation, the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) issued its consultation conclusions for a new licensing regime for virtual assets services providers (VASPs) in Hong Kong. Recently, further steps were taken to make the new licensing regime for VASPs a reality with the Hong Kong Government … Continue Reading

New licensing exemptions for foreign firms but questions remain on transition

In a welcome development, on 20 December 2021 Federal Treasury released exposure draft legislation implementing exemptions from Australian financial services (AFS) licensing requirements for foreign financial service providers (FFSPs). This follows through on the Federal Government’s intention (announced in last year’s Budget) to restore previously well-established relief for FFSPs and create a fast-tracked licensing process … Continue Reading

SC-STS Updates SORA Market Compendium

The SC-STS has updated the SORA Market Compendium. With the deadlines for the cessation of use of SOR for new loans, securities and derivatives having passed, this update provides market participants with a snapshot and market insights on the SOR to SORA Transition to date as well as current and expected volumes, liquidity and trends. … Continue Reading

Day 5 – Themes of the Singapore FinTech Festival

Singapore FinTech Festival concludes today after a weeklong line-up of fruitful discussions. On Day 5 of the Singapore FinTech Festival, facilitating trust in data sharing, digital identity, financial and digital inclusion as well as payments interoperability were some of the common themes that ran through the sessions. Some of our key takeaways from the experts: … Continue Reading

Day 4 – Themes of the Singapore FinTech Festival

Day 4 had a strong international focus at the start of the World Fintech Festival with speakers and specialist forums dealing with market and regulatory developments across the world, including sessions on developments in Australia, Japan, China, Cambodia, India, Nigeria and various Nordic countries. The role of FinTech in facilitating green financing and sustainability remained … Continue Reading

Day 3 – Themes of the Singapore FinTech Festival

Coinciding with the closing of COP26, green financing, ESG and impact investing were key themes that ran through many of the sessions on Day 3 of the Singapore FinTech Festival.  It is clear that as demand for green finance, ESG and impact investing continues to grow, it will be necessary for financial services in the … Continue Reading

The FATF publish its high-level synopsis of the stocktake in regards to the unintended consequences of the FATF Standards

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) launched a project in February 2021 which studies and mitigates the unintended consequences resulting from the incorrect implementation of the FATF Standards. There are four areas of focus for this project which are: de-risking; financial exclusion; undue targeting of NPOs; and curtailment of human rights (with a focus on due … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Wealth Management Connect launches: the nuts and bolts at a glance

The widely anticipated Cross-boundary Wealth Management Connect Pilot Scheme (Wealth Management Connect), expected to create a combined funds flow of RMB 300 billion (US$46.5 billion) in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), has formally launched on 10 September 2021. Wealth Management Connect, which will come into operation in October 2021, consists of northbound and … Continue Reading

ARRC formally recommends Term SOFR

On 29 July 2021, the ARRC has formally recommended the CME Group’s forward-looking Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) term rates (Term SOFR).  It follows the completion of interdealer trading conventions to SOFR earlier this week.  This means that parties which have contracts which include the ARRC hardwired fallbacks will fallback to Term SOFR given that … Continue Reading

SC-STS Publishes recommendations and updated timelines for transition to SORA

The SC-STS published its Recommendations for Transition of Legacy SOR Contracts on 29 July 2021, with updated timelines and key recommendations for the industry-wide transition from SOR to SORA. Market participants are urged to take active steps to substantially transition out of legacy SOR exposures by 31 December 2021, using the SOR-SORA basis swap market … Continue Reading

MAS Consultation – Proposed amendments to impose requirements on financial institutions conducting unregulated business

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued a consultation paper on 2 July 2021 seeking views on various proposals, including to introduce powers to enable the MAS to impose requirements on certain financial institutions conducting unregulated business. The MAS recognises that some of its regulated entities may be carrying on unregulated activities (e.g. trading bitcoin … Continue Reading

Hong Kong implements uncertificated securities market regime and refines OTC derivative licensing regime

Uncertificated securities market regime On 11 June 2021, the Hong Kong Government gazetted the Securities and Futures and Companies Legislation (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 (SFCA Ordinance), marking a significant milestone in moving Hong Kong towards an uncertificated securities market (USM) where investors will have the option of holding securities in their own names and without paper … Continue Reading

Insurance Authority takes first disciplinary actions against licensed insurance brokers

The Insurance Authority (IA) has taken its first disciplinary actions against two licensed insurance broker companies for failure to submit their audited financial statements and auditor’s reports within required timeframes.  One of the broker companies has had its licence suspended, and both companies have been fined.  The enforcement actions are the first of its kind … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: HKMA releases plans for Phases III and IV of Open API Framework

On 13 May 2021, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) released its implementation plan for Phases III and IV of the Open API Framework (click here to read our previous blog on the launch of the Open API Framework in July 2018).  The initial batch of API functions for Phases III and IV, covering deposit … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Consultation conclusions on licensing regime for virtual assets services providers

Following a 3-month consultation on the proposal to introduce a licensing regime for virtual assets services providers (VASPs) in Hong Kong under the amended Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (the AMLO) (see our previous blog here), the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) has now issued its consultation conclusions in a paper published … Continue Reading

SC-STS issues implementation guidance on SOR loans and end-September 2021 timeline for cessation of issue of SOR Derivatives and SIBOR-linked Financial Products

The SC-STS have issued the Timelines to Cease Issuance of SOR Derivatives and SIBOR-Linked Financial Products and recommended the end-September 2021 as the timeline for all banks to cease issue of SOR derivatives and SIBOR-linked cash products. The SC-STS also took the opportunity to issue guidance on dealing with the limited cases of SOR loans … Continue Reading

Singapore’s SC-STS Announces Further Measures to Boost SORA Transition and Issues Updated Transition Timeline

On 2 February 2021, the Singapore Steering Committee for SOR & SIBOR Transition to SORA (SC-STS) set out key steps to further advance the industry transition to a SORA-centered SGD interest rate market by end-2021.  It also published an updated SC-STS Transition Roadmap 2021/22 with priorities for 2021/2022. The SC-STS noted that whilst the recent ICE Benchmark Administration … Continue Reading

An extended end-June 2023 cessation date for most USD LIBOR tenors? IBA announcement on consultation

Yesterday, the ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA) which compiles and oversees LIBOR, announced its impending consultation on what it is effectively a proposed extension of most (and the more widely used) US dollar (USD) LIBOR tenors until 30 June 2023. This is hugely significant for the markets in Asia where USD is by far the most … Continue Reading