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Under the new Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Financial Institutions) (Amendment) Ordinance 2018, Hong Kong enhanced its regulations for combating money laundering and terrorist financing in fulfilment of its international obligations as a FATF member. The amendments introduced the application of statutory customer due diligence (“CDD”) and record-keeping requirements (“AML/CTF requirements”) to solicitors and foreign lawyers, accountants, estate agents and trust or company service providers, which are defined as Designated Non-Financial Business and Professions (“DNFBPs”). The AML/CTF requirements regulate the conduct of DNFBPs in carrying out certain business practices. For instance, transactions concerning the buying or selling of real estates and business entities; managing bank accounts, client money, securities, or other assets; the organization of contributions for the creation, operation or management of corporations; and the creation, operation or management of legal persons or arrangements.

Regarding this amendment, back in 2017, the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau conducted consultations on legislative proposals to enhance AML regulations in Hong Kong. It required DNFBPs to observe statutory CDD and record-keeping requirements. There was broad support for the Government to enhance AML regulation in fulfilment of the international obligations under FATF, the international standard-setter for AML regulations.

Find out more in:

John Reading S.C., Dominic Wai & Victor Lui, Butterworths Hong Kong Commercial Crimes Law Handbook – Second Edition

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