Update to address High Risk Countries
On 11 July, the EC issued a letter on the AMLD assessment of high risk third countries.
- Proposes four stage approach focusing on priority third countries first based on exposure.
- First stage is develop methodology for assessment, international list to be added to by EC.
Previously reported, on 20 April, the EU Council adopted a position on AML directive, regulation.
Brief highlights of Beneficial Ownership
- EU States to maintain central registers listing information on beneficial owners and trusts.
- States may allow public access, can be subject to registration of person, payment of fee.
- Make accessible without restriction to obliged entity, e.g on bank customer due diligence.
- To access register, person must demonstrate they have legitimate interest e.g. journalist.
- Access owner name, month and year of birth, nationality, country of residence, ownership.
- Central register information on trusts is accessible only to authorities and obliged entities.
On 10 July, the SFC and the AMF have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Hong Kong-France Mutual Recognition of Funds (MRF).
The MOU will allow eligible Hong Kong public funds and French UCITS funds to be distributed to retail investors in each other’s market through a streamlined authorization process.
The MoU is the first agreement between Hong Kong and a member of the European Union which establishes the regulatory framework for distribution of eligible Hong Kong and French funds, which currently include general equity funds, bond funds and mixed funds.
It also stipulates a mechanism for regular dialogue and regulatory cooperation thus enabling the SFC and the AMF to fulfil their respective supervisory and regulatory mandates.
Further details can be found in the issued Circular and in the FAQs.