SFC issues further reminder regarding paragraph 12.5 self-reporting obligation

The SFC has issued a circular to remind intermediaries to comply with the self-reporting obligation under paragraph 12.5 of the Code of Conduct for Persons Licensed by or Registered with the Securities and Futures Commission. Licensed corporations and registered institutions should review their incident escalation and reporting mechanisms as soon as possible and consider whether any enhancements are required.

Paragraph 12.5 requires intermediaries to report to the SFC immediately upon the happening of (among other things) any material non-compliance with any law, rules, regulations and codes administered by the SFC or any such suspected non-compliance.

The SFC has recently observed that some intermediaries have not promptly reported to the SFC non-compliance with various legal or regulatory requirements, such as suspected unlicensed dealing activities, non-compliance with the suitability requirements and order recording requirements under the above code of conduct, and breaches of record keeping rules.

The SFC reminds intermediaries that:

  • registered institutions (although primarily regulated by the HKMA) are required to fulfil their reporting obligation by making the report directly to the SFC, in addition to reporting to the HKMA;
  • all material non-compliance referred to under paragraph 12.5 should be reported as soon as practicable upon identification, ie, not after the intermediary has completed its investigation, obtained legal advice or taken remedial action;
  • failure to comply with the reporting obligation may result in disciplinary action against intermediaries and their management.

The SFC also reminds intermediaries of:

William Hallatt
William Hallatt
Head of Financial Services Regulatory, Asia, Hong Kong
+852 2101 4036
Hannah Cassidy
Hannah Cassidy
Partner, Hong Kong
+852 2101 4133

Hong Kong SFC publishes consultation conclusions on asset management regulation and launches further consultation

On 16 November 2017, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong published its consultation conclusions on proposals to enhance asset management regulation and point-of-sale transparency (the Proposals) (please click here for our e-bulletin on the SFC’s consultation).

The SFC received 38 written submissions from key players in the asset management industry and, as the majority of respondents supported the Proposals, the SFC has largely adopted them and the proposed changes to the Fund Manager Code of Conduct (FMCC) and the Code of Conduct for Persons Licensed by or Registered with the Securities and Futures Commission (Code of Conduct), with certain modifications or clarifications of the regulatory intent. The revised FMCC and Code of Conduct will come into effect on 17 November 2018 and 17 August 2018 respectively. The SFC has indicated that it will provide further guidance to the industry by way of a set of frequently asked questions, which will be updated from time to time.

The SFC has also launched a further consultation on disclosure requirements applicable to discretionary accounts under the Code of Conduct. The deadline for submitting written comments is 15 January 2018. Our recent e-bulletin outlines the above in more detail. We will be holding a seminar onĀ 8 December 2017 in Hong Kong to discuss the implications of the above for asset managers. Further details will be provided. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to William Hallatt, Hannah Cassidy, Jeremy Birch or your usual Herbert Smith Freehills contact.