The Criminal Finances Act 2017 (Commencement No. 1) Regulations 2017 were introduced on 13 July 2017 and will bring into effect the two new corporate criminal offences of "failure to prevent" the facilitation of UK and foreign tax evasion, included in Part 3 of the Criminal Finances Act 2017 ("the Act"), from 30 September 2017.
Failure to Prevent the Facilitation of Tax Evasion offences to be implemented from 30 September 2017 – Criminal Finances Act 2017
On 28 June 2017, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) launched a two-month consultation (Consultation) on the detailed legal and regulatory requirements applicable to the new open-ended fund company (OFC) structure.
Currently, investment funds in Hong Kong are established only in unit trust form. The OFC structure will allow investment funds to be established in corporate form. The Securities and Futures (Amendment) Ordinance 2016, which is yet to take effect, provides the basic legal framework of the OFC structure and also empowers the SFC to make subsidiary legislation and issue codes and guidelines for the regulation of OFCs.
Iran Nuclear Deal Recertified with New Sanctions Imposed
On July 17, the US President certified Iranian compliance with the Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Under the JCPOA, Iran is reducing its nuclear capacity in exchange for nuclear-related sanction relief from the US, EU, and UN Security Council. This recertification comes despite the US President's statements that he did not want to certify compliance. The recent recertification signals the United States' continued willingness to maintain the sanctions relaxation implemented through the JCPOA, at least in the short term.
Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has named a corporate suspect, publicly listed PT Duta Graha Indah (DGI), concerning alleged corruption in the construction of a state university hospital in Bali in 2010. This is a first for the KPK, acting on broad powers conferred last year through a Supreme Court Regulation on Procedures for the Handling of Corporate Crime Cases (Regulation 13/2016).
In a jurisdiction where inbound investment and corruption risk are both high, this is a significant development which both domestic corporates and MNCs operating in Indonesia should take on board. Companies should ensure that they have the appropriate internal policies and procedures in place to prevent the carrying out of criminal acts such as bribery on their behalf.
Last week, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) of France on mutual recognition of funds (MRF) between Hong Kong and France.
The MOU allows eligible Hong Kong funds and French UCITS funds to be distributed to retail investors in France and the public in Hong Kong respectively, through a streamlined authorisation process. The types of funds currently covered are equity funds, bond funds and mixed funds.
Hong Kong SFC closes consultation on proposed guidelines to reduce and mitigate hacking risks related to internet trading
On 7 July 2017, the consultation by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) on proposals to reduce and mitigate hacking risks associated with internet trading closed. The consultation follows on from the SFC’s thematic review of the resilience to hacking risks of brokers engaged in internet trading (internet brokers) in late 2016. The SFC aims to publish its consultation conclusions by September or October 2017. Internet brokers will then be allowed 6 months to implement the new requirements.
Welcome to the July 2017 edition of our corporate crime update – our round up of developments in relation to corruption, money laundering, fraud, sanctions and related matters. Our update now covers a number of jurisdictions. For the full update on each jurisdiction, please click on the name of the jurisdiction below. Below we provide a brief overview of what is covered in each update.
China's Cyber Security Law (CSL) came into force on 1 June 2017. To read the summary of the key systems required to be implemented and their current status prepared by our teams in China and Sydney, click here. The bulletin also includes information about draft Measures for the Security Assessment of Export of Personal Information and Important Data, and draft Guidelines for data export security assessment.
On 28 June 2017, the FCA published the highly anticipated final findings of its Asset Management Market Study ("Final Report"), which can be accessed here. This follows the release of its interim report in November 2016 and the subsequent intensive consultation process with industry, in which some 153 submissions were filed.
With effect from 26 June 2017, the independent Insurance Authority (IA) assumed its regulatory responsibilities and replaced the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) in regulating insurers. The IA will be a much more powerful regulator than its predecessor, with enhanced authorisation and supervisory powers, as well as inspection, investigation and disciplinary powers over insurers.