Topic: Financial Services

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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

Hong Kong: Consultation to bring non-securities virtual assets under SFC oversight opens

The Financial Services and Treasury Bureau (FSTB) issued a consultation paper on 3 November 2020 seeking comments on its proposal (the New Regs) to amend Hong Kong’s anti-money laundering legislation to bring exchanges that offer virtual assets (VAs) that are not securities within the regulatory remit of Hong Kong’s securities regulator, the Securities and Futures … Continue Reading

Regulation Tomorrow Podcast – Episode 1 now on Apple Podcasts

We are pleased to announce that the Regulation Tomorrow Podcast is now available on the Apple Podcasts app (and also on iTunes). Please click here to listen and subscribe to the podcast. Episode 1 focusses on Brexit, featuring interviews with Jonathan Herbst, Imogen Garner and Hannah Meakin.… Continue Reading

SFC launches consultation on anti-money laundering guidelines

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has launched a three-month consultation on proposals to amend its anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) guidelines for licensed corporations (LCs) and associated entities (AEs).[1] The proposed amendments aim to align the AML/CTF guidelines with the Guidance for a Risk-based Approach for the Securities Sector (RBA Guidance) issued … Continue Reading

Insurance Authority consults on draft rules for insurance-linked securities regulatory regime

On 4 September 2020, the Insurance Authority (IA) launched a six-week consultation on the proposed Insurance (Special Purpose Business) Rules (SPB Rules). The consultation ties in with the introduction of the new regulatory regime for the issuance of insurance-linked securities (ILS) which is expected to come into operation in 2021. The SPB rules will be added … Continue Reading

SFC issues FAQs on licensing obligations of family offices

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has published FAQs to provide additional guidance on the licensing obligations of single family offices and multi-family offices under the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO). The FAQs follow the SFC’s circular issued on 7 January 2020 relating to the licensing obligations of family offices which conduct business in Hong … Continue Reading

SWIFT publishes “Follow the Money” report to aid comprehension of money laundering risks underpinning large-scale cyber-heists

In September 2020, SWIFT (a global member-owned cooperative and provider of secure financial messaging services) published a report to support market participants in understanding the money laundering techniques which underpin large-scale cyber-attacks. The report sets out the end-to-end journey commonly used by criminals to launder funds obtained through illicit cyber-crime related activities, and focusses on … Continue Reading

Insurance Authority extends the validity of temporary facilitative measures to 31 December 2020

The Insurance Authority has issued a circular today extending Phase 2 of the temporary facilitative measures (TFMs), introduced in March 2020, by another three months (i.e. to 31 December 2020) in light of the current COVID-19 situation. The Phase 2 TFMs permit insurers and intermediaries to use non-face-to-face distribution methods for selling certain insurance products … Continue Reading

Insurance Authority consults on the proposed capital rules for insurance groups

The Hong Kong Insurance Authority (IA) has published a consultation paper on the proposed Insurance (Group Capital) Rules (Group Capital Rules), marking the launch of a six-week public consultation which will end on 30 September 2020.  The consultation ties in with the implementation of the new supervisory framework for multinational insurance groups, which is due … Continue Reading

Brexit: Where have we got to and what should you do now?

Webinar on 2 September 2020 at 8:45am to 10:00am (BST) We are evolving our successful 40 minute briefings into webinars for financial services professionals. This includes senior management and those in legal, compliance and risk teams who have or are developing financial services expertise. The webinars will be led by senior members of our financial … Continue Reading

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