HKMA set to turn up the heat on bank culture in 2019

On 19 December 2018, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced that it will introduce supervisory measures (Supervisory Measures) focused specifically on measuring authorised institutions’ (AI) progress in implementing reforms to their culture. The Supervisory Measures include requiring AIs to complete and return self-assessment forms regarding their culture to the HKMA, and undertaking on-site reviews focused specifically on culture. For our full briefing on the supervisory measures, please click here

William Hallatt
William Hallatt
Head of Financial Services Regulatory, Asia, Hong Kong
+852 2101 4036
Gareth Thomas
Gareth Thomas
Partner, Hong Kong
+852 2101 4025
Hannah Cassidy
Hannah Cassidy
Partner, Hong Kong
+852 2101 4133
Emily Rumble
Emily Rumble
Associate, Hong Kong
+852 2101 4225

From offline to online: upholding investor protection in sale of complex products

As investment services go digital, Hong Kong regulators have found it necessary to issue tailored guidance to protect investors.

From 6 April and 23 August 2019 respectively, new guidelines from the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority will increase the regulatory requirements for financial institutions offering investment products via online platforms. Continue reading

HKMA endorses benefits of cooperation

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has recently released its first Guidance Note on Cooperation with the HKMA in Investigations and Enforcement Proceedings.

In releasing the guidance note, the HKMA has expressly signalled its desire to encourage and facilitate cooperation, noting that its benefits include time, cost and resource savings to both the HKMA and institution or individual concerned. Continue reading

FCA issues outcome of high cost credit review and seeks feedback on proposals for new rules and guidance for overdrafts and high cost credit

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a press release setting out the outcome of its high-cost credit review (HCCR) together with new proposals on rules and guidance designed to protect consumers that use overdrafts and high-cost credit (the Proposals). Continue reading

Foreign & Commonwealth Office publishes guidance on sanctions licensing policy after Brexit

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has published guidance detailing the UK Government’s intended approach to sanctions exceptions and licences after Brexit. Sanctions exceptions and licences are mechanisms through which restrictive measures imposed by sanctions may be relaxed in specific circumstances. The guidance comes as the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill (the “Bill“) reaches the final stages of the legislative process. The Bill has passed through both the House of Lords and the House of Commons, and is currently in the “ping pong” stage. Continue reading

US ANNOUNCES NEW RUSSIA SANCTIONS DESIGNATIONS, RELEASES NEW GUIDANCE

On April 6, 2018, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) announced new designations of seven high-net-worth Russian individuals and 12 companies they own or control, 17 senior Russian government officials, and a state-owned Russian weapons trading company and its subsidiary, a Russian bank. Continue reading

Hong Kong SFC issues new guidance note and FAQs on regulatory cooperation and its benefits

On 12 December 2017, the Securities and Futures Commission (the SFC) published its Guidance Note on Cooperation with the SFC (the Guidance).

The Guidance contains an updated section on disciplinary proceedings and a new section on proceedings in the civil courts and the Market Misconduct Tribunal (MMT). It does not apply to criminal proceedings, which is subject to the unfettered discretion of the Department of Justice. The Guidance replaces the previous version issued in March 2006. Continue reading

Singapore’s MAS issues Guide to Digital Token Offerings

On 14 November 2017, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued a guide during the first day of the Singapore FinTech Festival to provide general guidance on the application of the securities laws administered by the MAS, namely the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) and the Financial Advisers Act, to offers or issues of digital tokens in Singapore.

This follows the MAS’s clarification on 1 August 2017 that an offer or issue of digital tokens would be regulated if these tokens constitute products which are regulated under the SFA. Our e-bulletin in August 2017 regarding the clarification can be accessed here.

In our recent bulletin, we highlight the key points in the MAS guide and set out our observations. If you wish to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Asia team (the contact details of which are set out in the bulletin) or your usual Herbert Smith Freehills contact.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is licensed to operate as a foreign law practice in Singapore. Where advice on Singapore law is required, we will refer the matter to and work with licensed Singapore law practices where necessary.

 

US AUTHORITIES ISSUE COMPREHENSIVE IMPLEMENTATION GUIDANCE ON NEW US SANCTIONS LEGISLATION

Following our earlier bulletin, on October 31, 2017, the US Department of State and Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) posted comprehensive guidance related to the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 (“CAATSA”). The new guidance addresses multiple provisions of CAATSA, mainly the provisions concerning secondary sanctions targeting Russia. The new guidance significantly limits and clarifies the scope of these secondary sanctions.

As detailed in our prior alert, on August 2, 2017, President Trump signed CAATSA into law. The legislation provided several new categories of primary and secondary sanctions relating to Russia, Iran and North Korea.

Continue reading