Topic: Market integrity and misconduct

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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

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

Hong Kong: SFC releases consultation conclusions on proposed guidelines for securities margin financing activities

On 4 April 2019, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) released the conclusions of its consultation on proposed guidelines for securities margin financing activities (the Guidelines). The existing conduct requirements for securities margin financing activities are mainly prescribed in the Code of Conduct for Persons Licensed by or Registered with the SFC and the Management, … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: SFC issues updated guidance on cooperation for SFC investigations and enforcement proceedings

On 12 December 2017, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued an updated guidance note regarding the benefits of cooperating on its investigations and enforcement proceedings (Guidance Note). The SFC also published a new set of Frequently Asked Questions to supplement the Guidance Note (FAQs). As noted in the FAQs, one of the key changes … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Managing conflicts of interest in financial groups

On 24 November 2017, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a joint circular on the results of their joint review on the potential conflicts of interest which may arise from the sale of in-house products by licensed corporations and registered institutions (collectively, intermediaries) within a single financial … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Manager-In-Charge regime comes into force

Following the end of a 6-month transition period, the Manager-In-Charge (MIC) regime introduced by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is now fully implemented, starting from 17 October 2017. The regime seeks to heighten the accountability of senior management at licensed corporations and to promote greater awareness of their obligations. Under the MIC regime, licensed … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Regulatory Cooperation and Enforcement

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) this week outlined an optimistic vision for the future of Hong Kong as a continued pre-eminent global financial centre, especially in relation to its position as the main conduit to the Chinese Mainland, based on the increased collaboration and more effective enforcement measures set out below. Ashley Alder, chief … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Securities and Futures Commission and the Hong Kong Police join forces to combat financial crime

On 25 August 2017, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Hong Kong Police (HKP) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to formalise and strengthen the parties’ co-operation in combating financial crime. The MoU, which became effective on 25 August 2017, covers a variety of matters, including referral of cases, joint investigations, exchange and … Continue Reading

The Monetary Authority of Singapore Establishes Dedicated Departments to Combat Money Laundering and Strengthen Enforcement

In the wake of the order to close BSI Bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced that it will, from 1 August 2016, establish dedicated departments to combat money laundering and strengthen enforcement respectively. MAS has indicated its resolve to ensure that Singapore retains its reputation as a clean and trusted financial centre, … Continue Reading

Monetary Authority of Singapore shuts down BSI Bank, imposes S$13.3 million fine

MAS Takes Action against BSI Bank in Singapore On 24 May 2016, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) gave BSI Bank Limited (BSI Bank) notice that the MAS will: withdraw BSI Bank’s status as a merchant bank for serious breaches of anti-money laundering requirements, poor management oversight and gross misconduct of bank staff. impose S$13.3 … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: SFC announces timetable for implementation of Code of Conduct changes

On 21 March 2016, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) announced that it would synchronise the implementation of certain changes to the SFC’s Code of Conduct for Persons Licensed by or Registered with the SFC (Code). These changes relate to: new paragraph 15 of the Code, which came into effect on 25 March 2016, and … Continue Reading

Financial Institutions Symposium hosted by Norton Rose Fulbright in Sydney

Technology-led innovation has the potential to truly disrupt existing business models and distribution channels in the financial services industry. In Australia and more broadly, we have seen start-ups build innovative payment systems, peer-to-peer lending platforms, crypto-currencies, robo-advice and automated investment management. However, the large institutions are well capitalised, have large customer bases and are adapting … Continue Reading

Principles of Responsible Ownership of Hong Kong listed companies proposed by the Securities and Futures Commission

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has launched a three-month consultation period commencing on 2 March 2015 on the proposed Principles of Responsible Ownership (Principles). The principles are proposed to operate on a non-binding and voluntary basis and investors in Hong Kong listed companies will be encouraged to comply, or to explain why some, or … Continue Reading

Learning & Development training programme – open to our clients in Hong Kong

Our Hong Kong office has released a Learning & Development calendar for March – September 2015. Clients are invited to join a range of legal and personal development and business skills sessions. We are holding a session in June on Corporate governance in financial institutions.… Continue Reading

What’s new with data protection in Singapore?

The main data protection rules under the Singapore Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA) and the Personal Data Protection Regulations took effect on 2 July 2014, with several Advisory Guidelines issued later in September 2014. The topics covered under the Advisory Guidelines range from (1) Advisory Guidelines covering selected topics such as Analytics and Research, … Continue Reading

Execution of documents: was your agreement validly executed?

A recent Hong Kong case reminded us of the importance of getting things right when executing documents in virtual closings, particularly in relation to deeds. In the case of Penta Investment Advisers Ltd v Allied Weli Development Ltd (formerly known as Hennabun Capital Group Ltd) – [2014] HKCU 2365, the Hong Kong Court of First … Continue Reading

Financial benchmark fixing

Regulators in key financial centres have investigated or taken action in relation to the attempted manipulation of various benchmarks. Regulators in the US and UK have recently levied US$3.4 billion dollars in fines against banks alleged to have manipulated the foreign exchange market. Swiss regulator FINMA has imposed restrictions when imposing penalties in connection with … Continue Reading

CFTC staff extends no-action relief – allows four foreign clearing organizations to continue clearing swaps for US persons

On December 18, 2014, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (“CFTC’s”) Division of Clearing and Risk (“DCR”) issued extensions of previously granted “No-Action” relief to four foreign clearing organizations. The relief allows these foreign clearing organizations to continue to clear swaps for certain United States persons (“U.S. persons”) without being registered as a derivatives clearing organization … Continue Reading