UNITED STATES ANNOUNCES COMPLETE WITHDRAWAL FROM THE JCPOA, AND PROVIDES WINDING-DOWN PERIOD BEFORE SANCTIONS RE-IMPOSITION

On May 8, 2018, President Trump announced that the United States will completely withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the “JCPOA“). The JCPOA, signed in July 2015 and implemented on January 16, 2016, lifted most US nuclear related secondary sanctions and certain US primary sanctions targeting Iran. Prior to the JCPOA, the US had also imposed a broad range of “secondary sanctions” – applicable to dealings of non-US persons with sanctioned Iranian parties – in a number of key economic sectors in Iran, including automobile, energy and finance. The President’s announcement today states that all pre-JCPOA nuclear related sanctions will be re-imposed (both primary and secondary), and indicates that the US may impose new and additional sanctions in the future, going beyond the already highly restrictive sanctions regime which preceded the JCPOA. Continue reading

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Filed under Announcements, Bribery and Corruption, Corporate Crime, Regulatory Reform, Sanctions and Money Laundering, Sector Updates by Herbert Smith Freehills, US

REGULATION IN THE AGE OF CRYPTOCURRENCIES

Blockchain technology is ushering in a new epoch of monetary oversight, creating opportunities and challenges for regulators in a world disrupted by the advent of cryptocurrencies

As of 3 May 2018, according to CoinMarketCap, the current market capitalisation of Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies stands at USD409 billion. 193 cryptocurrency exchanges are now operating globally, located in many jurisdictions from South Korea to the Seychelles. Initial coin offerings (ICOs) have also flourished as a fundraising method. ICO funding for the first quarter of 2018 was USD6.3 billion, almost 20 percent higher than the previous year, according to Coindesk.

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Filed under Asia, Hong Kong, Regulatory Reform, Sector Updates by Herbert Smith Freehills

HONG KONG GOVERNMENT ISSUES IMPORTANT MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING RISK ASSESSMENT

The government has this week published a comprehensive report detailing Hong Kong’s Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (ML/TF) Risk Assessment. This is the product of a year’s consultation, data analysis and stakeholder engagement by the government.

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Filed under Asia, Bribery and Corruption, Corporate Crime, Hong Kong, Investigations, Sanctions and Money Laundering

Corporate Crime update – April 2018

Welcome to the April 2018 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. Below we provide a brief overview of what is covered in each update.  Continue reading

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Filed under Asia, Bribery and Corruption, Corporate Crime, Europe, Investigations, Sanctions and Money Laundering, Sector Updates by Herbert Smith Freehills

LIGHTER TOUCH, OR MORE OF THE SAME? MAS ISSUES CONSULTATION PAPER ON PROPOSED GUIDELINES ON INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTABILITY AND CONDUCT

On 26 April 2018, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued a Consultation Paper on its proposed, and much-anticipated, senior manager accountability regime in the form of ‘Guidelines on Individual Accountability and Conduct’ (Guidelines).

The Consultation Paper comes soon after the release of the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) Toolkit for firms and regulators to use to strengthen governance frameworks to mitigate misconduct risk. The Toolkit encourages regulators to develop and monitor a responsibility and accountability framework.

A brief summary of the Guidelines is set out below. You can also read our bulletin on the FSB’s Toolkit here. Continue reading

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Filed under Asia, Sector Updates by Herbert Smith Freehills, Singapore

NEW BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP REGIME IN INDONESIA POSES COMPLIANCE RISKS FOR CORPORATES

Effective from 5 March 2018, all corporations in Indonesia are required to disclose at least one person as their beneficial owner upon registering for business, pursuant to the Presidential Regulation (Perpres 13/2018) signed by President Joko Widodo on 1 March 2018. Continue reading

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Filed under Asia, Bribery and Corruption, Sanctions and Money Laundering, Sector Updates by Herbert Smith Freehills

A NEW GLOBAL TOOLKIT FOR FIGHTING MISCONDUCT RISK: WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR FIRMS AND REGULATORS?

On 20 April 2018, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) released its long awaited toolkit (Toolkit) for firms and regulators’ use in fighting misconduct risk. The Toolkit forms part of the FSB’s workplan to mitigate misconduct risk, and builds on existing measures such as the FSB’s guidance on sound compensation practicesContinue reading

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Filed under Announcements, European Regulation, Hong Kong, Sector Updates by Herbert Smith Freehills

TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHES CPI 2017

In late February, Transparency International (“TI“) published the 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index (“CPI“). This is the 23rd annual edition of the CPI, which ranks countries according to the levels of public sector corruption, as perceived by business people and country experts. The CPI ranking aggregates data from a number of different sources, including various polls by institutions such as the World Bank and World Economic Forum. Countries and territories are given a score between 0 and 100, with 0 being highly corrupt and 100 being very clean and ranked from cleanest to most corrupt.  Continue reading

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Filed under Bribery and Corruption, Corporate Crime, Sanctions and Money Laundering, Sector Updates by Herbert Smith Freehills

MALAYSIA INTRODUCES NEW LAW TO COMBAT CORPORATE BRIBERY

The Anti-Corruption Commission (Amendment) Act 2018 was passed by the Senate of Malaysia on 5 April 2018. One of the major amendments is the introduction of section 17A. Modelled on the UK Bribery Act’s corporate offence, it penalises commercial organisations for corrupt acts by associated persons, subject to a reasonable procedures defence. Continue reading

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Filed under Asia, Bribery and Corruption, Malaysia, Uncategorized

HKMA CONDUCTS THEMATIC REVIEW OF AUTHORISED INSTITUTIONS’ SANCTIONS SCREENING SYSTEMS AND PLANS REVIEW OF SVF LICENSEES

Late last week, the HKMA published a circular to provide feedback to authorised institutions (AIs) on its thematic review of their sanctions screening systems, which took place in the past few months. While the review indicated that the screening systems examined were in general performing on par with industry benchmarks, the HKMA wishes to draw AIs’ attention to various issues and good practices identified during the review, which it has set out in the annex to the circular.

The HKMA will collect information from all AIs in the third quarter of 2018 on individual action plans and consider conducting further reviews. Continue reading

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Filed under Announcements, Asia, Corporate Crime, Hong Kong, Sanctions and Money Laundering