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June 23, 2017

HKMA published circular on AML/CFT or Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Financial Institutions) (Amendment) Bill 2017 published in the Government Gazette. The government proposed to implement the amendments on March 01, 2018, subject to the bill being passed by the Legislative Council. The bill will be introduced into the Council on June 28, 2017.

The government has also proposed improvements to the AML/CFT (Financial Institutions) Ordinance (Cap. 615) to ensure that it is in line with the latest Financial Action Task Force (FATF) requirements. The bill contains certain amendments that are more relevant to the banking sector. Following are the primary objectives of the bill:

To apply statutory customer due diligence and record-keeping requirements to solicitors, accountants, real estate agents, and trust or company service providers when these professionals engage in specified transactions

To introduce a licensing regime for trust or company service providers to require them to apply for a license from the Registrar of Companies and satisfy a fit-and-proper test before they can provide trust or company services as a business in Hong Kong

Keywords: HKMA, Hong Kong, AML/CFT, Asia Pacific, Banking, FATF, Securities

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