AML / CFT deficiencies or inadequacies

The SFC issued another circular (https://www.sfc.hk/edistributionWeb/gateway/EN/circular/doc?refNo=18EC64) on compliance with AML / CFT measures and controls on 31 August 2018 following further thematic and routine inspections, highlighting key inspection findings, examples of deficiencies, inadequacies and good practices. As the SFC continues to focus on AML / CFT compliance, licensed companies and senior management should assess whether they need to make any further enhancements of their existing AML / CFT measures and controls taking into account the examples of deficiencies, inadequacies and good practices given by the SFC.

More than just box-ticking

Responsible officer applicants must check a box on the application form to declare that the board of directors has already passed a resolution either appointing him/her as a responsible officer only or as a responsible officer and a director to supervise the business of regulated activities. This means that responsible officer application forms can only be signed after the relevant board resolution has been passed. It goes without saying that a responsible officer appointment can only take effect after the SFC’s approval has been obtained.

When a responsible officer or a director signs an SFC application or notification form on behalf of their firm, they need to declare formally that “all the information provided is complete, true and correct ... [and that they understand] that providing false or misleading information … is an offence ... and that the SFC may take criminal and / or disciplinary action against a person who has made a false or misleading representation”. Care therefore needs to be taken by responsible officers or directors in signing these forms to ensure that they have enough information to confirm that all the details in the form are accurate: if there is any uncertainty, they should ask questions to confirm the situation before proceeding to sign.

Remember MIC?

The manager-in-charge regime has been implemented for more than a year now. Have you considered whether any changes in personnel at the company or head office would have any MIC implications? For example, would a consolidation of business units affect the company’s key business line? Licensed companies need to keep the SFC updated of changes in MICs after making the initial submission. You may wish to revisit our MIC checklist for reference (http://www.deacons.com.hk/news-and-insights/publications/mic-checklist-what-needs-to-be-done-post-submission.html).

CPT for 2018

We are about to go into the final quarter of the CPT year, so it is timely to do a CPT hours stock-take on all licensed individuals. If your company has licensed individuals who still have many CPT hours to complete this year, they need to take action soon.