The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) this Monday to strengthen the cooperation between the two agencies to combat financial crime.
The enhanced SFC and ICAC collaboration includes referral of cases, joint investigations, exchange and use of information, mutual provision of investigative assistance, and capacity building.
Under the MoU, the two organizations will aim to improve the overall effectiveness of their operations in combating financial crime, which impacts the integrity and reputation of the securities and futures markets of Hong Kong.
The SFC’s Executive Director of Enforcement, Thomas Atkinson, signed the MoU this Monday alongside the ICAC’s Deputy Commissioner and Head of Operations, Ricky Yau Shu-chun.
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Commenting on the partnership, Atkinson said: “The arrangement under the MoU will enable the SFC to perform its statutory duties with greater efficiency and effectiveness in combating financial crime and maintaining the integrity of Hong Kong’s securities and futures market. We look forward to closer collaboration with the ICAC.”
Following the signing of the MoU, the two organizations have launched a three-day joint investigation trading workshop. According to the statement, this workshop allows investigators of the two agencies to share their expertise and experience in policing serious financial crime.
“The MoU sets out the framework for cooperation and collaboration between the two agencies in various aspects, showing our common determination in maintaining a level-playing field for doing business in Hong Kong,” added Yau.
SFC clamps down on broker conduct
The SFC has remained vigilant in monitoring Hong Kong’s securities and futures markets. As Finance Magnates recently reported, the regulator fined Hong Kong-based brokerage firm Sincere Securities Limited (SSL) a collective HK$5 million ($640,000) for multiple regulatory breaches spanning ten years.
The fines were the result of several control failures, including those related to the conduct of a former account executive of SSL. Some of the violations stretch back more than a decade, with one reprimand over a failure to properly update the company’s Compliance and Procedural Manual to capture the regulatory requirements that came into effect in 2009.