On 23 February 2009, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a circular to remind intermediaries who make investment recommendations or solicitations to clients to conduct a formal self examination of their controls and procedures to ensure compliance with applicable suitability obligations under the Code of Conduct for Persons Licensed by or Registered with the SFC. The SFC will be looking for documentary evidence that such formal self examination has been carried out.
On 26 February 2009, the HKMA also issued a similar reminder to registered institutions who make investment recommendations or solicitations to clients. Registered institutions, which do not participate in the HKMA's Self-Assessment on Compliance with the HKMA Supervisory Policy Manual Module SB-1 and Other Requirements over Regulated Activities process in 2009, are required to conduct a formal self-examination and the HKMA will be looking for documentary evidence in the course of their regular on-site examinations that a formal self-examination has been carried out in accordance with the requirements in the circular issued by the SFC. Registered institutions are also reminded to take into account the Questions and Answers on suitability obligations issued by the SFC in May 2007.
Copies of the SFC and HKMA circulars are available on the HKMA website.