Archive for October, 2011

Hong Kong consults on AML and CTF Guidelines

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

A consultation has been begun by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in order to solicit public comments on proposals for a new set of guidelines on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF). These guidelines will replace the existing Prevention on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Guidance Note published by the SFC.

The guidelines seek to provide guidance to the financial industry, relating to the operation of the relevant provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Financial Institutions) Ordinance (AMLO), which is to come into effect on April 1, 2012.

On July 8, 2011, the enacted AMLO was gazetted after 2 rounds of consultation that was conducted by the Financial Services and Treasury Bureau. It is aimed at enhancing the AML/CTF regime in Hong Kong financial sector with a view to meet the latest international standards, especially as regards customer due diligence (CDD) and record keeping.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), SFC, Insurance Authority and the Customs and Excise Department have together drafted a set of guidelines containing generic guidance that is applicable to all financial institutions.

India talks on Money Laundering with 16 jurisdictions

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

The government of India has concluded talks with 16 countries in order to keep a tab on flow of laundered money. The Cayman Islands, the Channel Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas were among these 16 jurisdictions.

However, the Indian government did not reveal the obtained information on Indians having illegal accounts in foreign banks, citing confidential clause.

The Finance Ministry commented: “The Government of India has completed negotiations of 16 new Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) with Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Isle of Man, Cayman Islands, Jersey, Monaco, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Argentina, Costa Rica, Guernsey, Macau, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Congo and Gibraltar”. The Cabinet approved 9 of these agreements. TIEAs with Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands and Isle of Man have been signed and have come into force.

According to the Finance Ministry, “Negotiations/renegotiations of Double Tax Avoidance Agreements (DTAA) with 37 countries were completed. DTAAs with Switzerland (amendment), Norway (revised), Mozambique (new), Columbia (new), Ethiopia (new), Singapore (amended) and Tanzania (revised) have already been signed”. Also, the amendments to tax treaty with Switzerland have been signed and approved by the Swiss Parliament. It will come into force when Switzerland completes its internal process after legislative approval.