In its recently relaunched Enforcement Reporter newsletter (see first issue), the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has confirmed that corporate fraud and misfeasance, anti-money laundering, Growth Enterprise Market companies and multiple intra-group failings are issues high on its agenda and will be pursued as a priority, as part of its shift towards a more targeted approach to enforcement.
The SFC has also confirmed changes to the way it will go about pursuing its enforcement objectives, including the establishment of various specialised internal teams to address key and emerging risk areas, in alignment with its enforcement priorities, as well as increased collaboration with Mainland and Hong Kong regulators.
In addition, the SFC has indicated that in the appropriate case (with the exception of criminal proceedings), it may notify the relevant parties towards the end of an investigation of its intention to take enforcement action. The parties will be afforded an opportunity to first make submissions (which may be on the record), bring any relevant facts to the SFC's attention, set out any legal reasons as to why the enforcement action should not proceed, and/or propose a settlement, before the SFC formally commences enforcement action.
In our recent e-bulletin, we consider these issues in more detail. If you wish to discuss further, please contact William Hallatt, John Siu, Alice Dillon or your usual Herbert Smith Freehills contact.