Hong Kong consults on AML and CTF Guidelines

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.

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