SFC consults on amendments to anti-money laundering

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The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has launched a consultation on proposals to amend the Guideline on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing to keep it in line with international anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) standards and make it more useful and relevant.

The proposed amendments expand the types of politically exposed persons to include customers who have been entrusted with a prominent function by an international organisation.

The SFC has also proposed to streamline the identification and verification processes for onboarding customers to allow flexibility for licensed corporations to adopt reasonable risk-based measures and determine the extent to which each individual’s identification information would need to be verified. Licensed corporations may use appropriate technology for non-face-to-face account opening if they can ensure and demonstrate that there are adequate safeguards against impersonation risk.

The SFC is committed to adhering to international AML/CFT standards to reinforce Hong Kong’s reputation as a major international financial centre,” said Mr Ashley Alder, the SFC’s Chief Executive Officer. “In formulating the proposed amendments, we adopted a balanced regulatory approach to give firms flexibility while ensuring our requirements are effective to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.

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