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Grace Fung

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Grace Fung is a Special Counsel in Baker McKenzie's Hong Kong Office.

Hong Kong continues to have an active and growing money-lending market. Since 2016, the Hong Kong Government has adopted a four-pronged approach to enhancing the compliance standards of non-bank money lenders. The Hong Kong Companies Registry (CR), which currently performs the role of Registrar of Money Lenders (“Registrar”) pursuant to the Money Lenders Ordinance (MLO),1 recently released a new Guideline on Fit and Proper Criteria for Licensing of Money Lenders2 (“Fit and Proper Guideline”) and a Guideline on Submission of Business Plan by Applicant of a Money Lenders Licence3 (“Business Plan Guideline”). The new guidelines (“Guidelines”) will be effective from 1 April 2021. In this publication, we provide an overview of the money lenders regime in Hong Kong and the implications of the new Guidelines on new and existing market participants. 

Hong Kong continues to have an active and growing money-lending market. Since 2016, the Hong Kong Government has adopted a four-pronged approach to enhancing the compliance standards of non-bank money lenders. The Hong Kong Companies Registry (CR), which currently performs the role of Registrar of Money Lenders (“Registrar”) pursuant to the Money Lenders Ordinance (MLO),1 recently released a new Guideline on Fit and Proper Criteria for Licensing of Money Lenders2 (“Fit and Proper Guideline”) and a Guideline on Submission of Business Plan by Applicant of a Money Lenders Licence3 (“Business Plan Guideline”). The new guidelines (“Guidelines”) will be effective from 1 April 2021. In this publication, we provide an overview of the money lenders regime in Hong Kong and the implications of the new Guidelines on new and existing market participants. 

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) recently released additional guidance on external electronic data storage in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQs)1, which elaborate on the requirements for using external electronic data storage providers (EDSPs) under the SFC’s 31 October 2019 circular (“EDSP Circular”)2. The FAQs provide further guidance on the following key aspects: (i) key personnel requirements for the purpose of the EDSP Circular; (ii) the application of the EDSP Circular where electronic regulatory records are kept with affiliates; and (iii) the use of undertakings by designated Manager(s)-in-Charge (MIC(s)) / Responsible Officer (RO) (“MIC/RO Undertaking”) as acceptable alternatives to the undertakings provided by the EDSPs (“EDSP Undertaking”). We discuss the implications in these areas further below. The SFC has also made consequential changes to its Frequently Asked Questions on premises for business and record keeping3.

In this recording of our introductory workshop, Baker McKenzie FinTech Legal Accelerator: Cracking the Legal Code, held as part of the Hong Kong FinTech Week 2020, our lawyers across Asia Pacific give an overview of key fintech issues that start-ups or scale-ups need to know as they grow and expand…

In brief On 3 November 2020, the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (“FSTB”) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region launched a consultation1 (“Consultation”) on proposals to enhance anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (“AML/CTF”) regulation in Hong Kong under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (“AMLO”).…

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has released a Consultation Paper on Enhancing the Regulation and Supervision of Trust Business (Consultation Paper). The HKMA plans to introduce a Code of Practice for Trust Business (Code) to be incorporated into a new Supervisory Policy Manual (SPM) applicable to all authorized institutions (AIs) and local subsidiaries of locally incorporated AIs (AI subsidiaries) conducting trust business in Hong Kong. The aim of the Code is to enhance protection of client assets held on trust and better align with international standards and practices to promote the fair treatment of customers and a customer-centric culture in the trust business. We discuss some of the HKMA’s proposals and their potential application.

Business models and consumer patterns have changed substantially in the financial services market driven by and driving digital transformation. Opening accounts online, without physically attending offices or branches, has become part of a new norm and is an essential rather than an additional channel to offer customers convenience. Money laundering and other fraud risks relating to remote customer onboarding have been topics of considerable debate over the past few years. With ongoing technological advances, the risk levels and risk appetites in the online environment are no longer the same. We will highlight a few key developments and trends in Hong Kong.

Download full version in PDF The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has taken another major step towards establishing a regulatory framework for virtual asset trading platforms, and is now inviting licensing applications from platform operators who are willing and able to comply with new licensing criteria and continuing compliance requirements…

Download Full Version in PDF Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a circular on 31 October 2019 (“Circular”) clarifying its expectations of SFC-licensed corporations (“LCs”) utilising electronic data storage providers (“EDSPs”) to store or process records electronically. These include: the introduction of important new requirements (including approval requirements)…

Download publication A series of briefings that take a “bite-size” look at international trends in different jurisdictions drawing on Baker McKenzie’s expert financial services practitioners Individual Accountability Regimes – Driving Improvements in Culture This edition takes a bite-size look at culture within financial services businesses, as seen by regulators in…