Since early March 2017, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) in Hong Kong have collectively taken disciplinary actions against five regulated entities and an individual relating to breaches of anti-money laundering (AML) and counter financing of terrorism (CFT) regulatory requirements. The entities were fined amounts ranging from HK$2.6 million to HK$7 million, whereas the individual was banned from re-entering the industry for nine months.

Both the SFC and the HKMA have made it clear that AML and CFT compliance will continue to be a priority in 2017, and the recent disciplinary actions demonstrate swift action on their part. The SFC has set up a temporary specialised team within its Enforcement Division to tackle know-your-client and AML/CFT control failings. The raft of disciplinary actions serves as a warning that the SFC and the HKMA are prepared to impose tough sanctions and that regulated entities should take action now to ensure compliance with the relevant requirements.

Our bulletin discussing the disciplinary actions and takeaway points can be found here.  If you wish to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact Will Hallatt, Hannah Cassidy, Vicky Man, or your usual Herbert Smith Freehills contact.