EU prolongs duration of Russian sectoral sanctions until July 2017

On 19 December 2016, the European Council announced that the EU’s sectoral sanctions, targeting the Russian financial, energy and defence sectors, and dual-use goods (which were previously due to expire on 31 January 2017) will be extended for a further six months until 31 July 2017. This extension was effected by Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/2315 … Read more

Hong Kong SFC confirms enforcement priorities and approach following strategic review

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 … Read more

PRA and FCA provide feedback on the implementation of the Senior Managers’ and Certification Regimes for banks and insurers, and propose adjustments to strengthen the regime

On 28 September 2016, the FCA and PRA (the Regulators) issued a suite of papers setting out their feedback on the implementation of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR), together with new proposals for amending some of its provisions and "optimising" its application to Banks and PRA investment firms. Read more

Hong Kong SFC commences consultation on enhancing regulation of asset management industry and point-of-sale transparency

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has announced the launch of a three-month consultation regarding proposed enhancements to the regulation of the asset management industry and other amendments aimed at enhancing point-of-sale transparency and addressing conflicts of interest in the sale of investment products by intermediaries. In its consultation paper, the SFC has proposed amendments … Read more

Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect open for business

Trading through the much anticipated Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect (Shenzhen Connect) commenced on 5 December 2016. It offers international and Hong Kong investors direct access to most companies traded in Mainland China for the first time.  100 small cap stocks listed in Hong Kong are also now available to Mainland investors through Shenzhen Connect.  The … Read more

Consultation launched on proposed regulations on protected arrangements following enactment of the Financial Institutions (Resolution) Ordinance

The Financial Institutions (Resolution) Ordinance (Ordinance), which sets out the framework for a cross-sector regime for the orderly resolution of financial institutions in Hong Kong, was passed by the Legislative Council (LegCo) on 22 June 2016. The Ordinance largely follows the legislative proposals introduced into the LegCo for consideration in December 2015 (see our earlier … Read more

President Obama Expected to Sign 10-Year Extension of Iran Sanctions Act

On December 1, 2016, the Senate unanimously passed a bill to extend the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (the "ISA") for 10 years by a 99-0 vote, after it had passed the House of Representatives by a similarly wide margin of 419-1. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law, despite his administration's easing … Read more

New UK criminal offences of failure to prevent facilitation of tax evasion

In our October 2016 briefing, we reported on the publication of the Criminal Finances Bill 2016–17. The Bill introduces a range of new measures to fight financial crime, of which one of the most important and far-reaching is the introduction of new offences of failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. The offences are … Read more