On 13 August 2015, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Appeals Tribunal (SFAT) published its Reasons for Determination affirming the decision of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) to revoke the approval given to Ms. Sham Sze Wai Miranda to act as RO over findings that she was involved in serious internal control failures at Ping An of China Securities (Hong Kong) Company Limited (Ping An).
Previously, on 9 July 2014, Ping An was fined HK$6 million (approximately $774,000) and was reprimanded by the SFC over internal control failures on AML. Ms. Sham was one of two ROs at Ping An and was solely in charge of Ping An’s compliance during the relevant period. It was alleged, amongst others, that Ms. Sham failed to identify and report suspicious transactions in a timely manner, and failed to establish AML internal control procedures for Ping An and provide AML training to its staff.
In arriving at its decision, the SFAT emphasised that “the RO is the person who bears primary responsibility for the compliance with all applicable regulatory standards and where there is a failure in respect of compliance there is little or no room for blame-shifting”.