HKMA shares initial observations from banks’ self-assessment on culture

    The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA)’s executive director for banking conduct, Mr Alan Au, recently delivered a speech on bank culture at the 1LoD Summit in Hong Kong. Although the HKMA is still in the process of reviewing the self-assessments submitted by the 30 AIs, Mr Au took the opportunity of the 1LoD Summit to provide the HKMA’s initial observations on how authorised institutions have approached culture reform, and highlighted some good practices and common issues of concern observed. Read more

    Regulation in Focus Podcast Episode 3 – January 2020

    The third episode of Regulation in Focus, our podcast series of short, sharp insights into regulatory issues that matter to you, features Katherine Dillon and Emma Reid from our non-contentious financial services regulatory practice in London, discussing the role that equivalence might play in accessing EU markets post-Brexit. Read more

    Malaysia joins digital banking revolution – Bank Negara Malaysia issues Exposure Draft on Licensing Framework for Digital Banks

    On 27 December 2019, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) issued an exposure draft on the Licensing Framework for Digital Banks (Exposure Draft). According to BNM, up to five licences may be issued to applicants to establish digital banks that conduct either conventional or Islamic banking business in Malaysia. BNM’s move to promote the development of digital banks is in line with the direction taken by regulators in Singapore and Hong Kong, which have each issued similar licensing frameworks in the past two years. Read more

    SFC clarifies licensing obligations of PE firms and family offices which conduct business in Hong Kong

    On 7 January 2020, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued two circulars to clarify aspects of the licensing obligations applicable to private equity (PE) firms and family offices which conduct business in Hong Kong. The circulars have been issued in response to enquiries from industry participants and their professional advisers. An overview of the key aspects covered by the circulars is set out below. Read more

    Happy New Year – Happy New Money Laundering Regulations

    On 20 December 2019, we received a festive treat: the publication of the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (the "Regulations").  The Regulations, which will come into force on 10 January 2020, implement the Fifth EU Money Laundering Directive (Directive (EU) 2018/843, "5MLD")) in the UK, and follow a high level consultation in summer 2019. In this briefing we review the changes and new obligations. Read more

    FCA warns CEOs to tackle non-financial misconduct

    The FCA has warned CEOs that how a firm handles non-financial misconduct is indicative of a firm's culture. It is the FCA's view that embedding healthy cultures includes, therefore, taking steps to address the discrimination, harassment and bullying that remains "prevalent" in firms. In a 'Dear CEO' letter (the Letter), which follows recent incidents in the wholesale general insurance sector, the FCA considers the need for fundamental change in firms' culture and calls on leaders to bring about that change. Read more

    SFO secures sixth DPA

    On 20 December 2019 reporting restrictions were lifted in respect of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (“DPA”) agreed between the Serious Fraud Office ("SFO") and Guralp Systems Ltd (“GSL”). Under the DPA, which was approved in October 2019, GSL agreed to disgorge relevant profit of £2,069,861 in relation to charges of conspiracy to make corrupt payments and failure to prevent bribery by its employees, both in respect of South Korean business. Three GSL personnel, who were also charged with conspiracy to make corrupt payments, were subsequently acquitted in December. GSL also agreed to continue to cooperate with the SFO and to maintain and keep its (already enhanced) Anti-Bribery and Corruption ("ABC") procedures under review. Read more