HK to introduce new Anti-Money Laundering Guidelines

Following the release of a set of consultation conclusions, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has announced the gazetting of a new set of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing guidelines. The new guidelines will take effect on April 1, 2012.

The new guidelines will replace the existing Prevention on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Guidance Note published by the SFC. They are 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).

On July 8, 2011, the enacted AMLO was gazetted after 2 rounds of consultation conducted by Hong Kong’s Financial Services and Treasury Bureau. Its is aimed at enhancing the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regime in Hong Kong’s financial sector, whoch is neede in order to meet the latest international standards, especially in respect of customer due diligence (DD) and record keeping.

On September 30, 2011, the SFC launched a consultation and welcomed comments on the then-proposed guidelines, and then received submissions until November 18. In general, respondents found the guidelines helpful.

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