Menu Home

HK SFC on changes to AML/CFT guidelines

logo antenna

Latest update 

SFC consults on amendments to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing guidelines

5 Jul 2018

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) today launched a consultation (Note 1) on proposals to amend the Guideline on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing to keep it in line with international anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) standards (Note 2) and make it more useful and relevant.

The proposed amendments expand the types of politically exposed persons to include customers who have been entrusted with a prominent function by an international organisation (Note 3).

The SFC has also proposed to streamline the identification and verification processes for onboarding customers to allow flexibility for licensed corporations to adopt reasonable risk-based measures and determine the extent to which each individual’s identification information would need to be verified. Licensed corporations may use appropriate technology for non-face-to-face account opening if they can ensure and demonstrate that there are adequate safeguards against impersonation risk.

“The SFC is committed to adhering to international AML/CFT standards to reinforce Hong Kong’s reputation as a major international financial centre,” said Mr Ashley Alder, the SFC’s Chief Executive Officer. “In formulating the proposed amendments, we adopted a balanced regulatory approach to give firms flexibility while ensuring our requirements are effective to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.”

Interested parties are invited to submit their comments to the SFC on or before 9 August 2018 via the SFC website (, by email to, by post or by fax to 2284 4660.



  1. The consultation paper seeks comments from the public on the amendment proposals and the indicative drafts of the proposed revised Guideline on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing and the proposed revised Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Guideline issued by the Securities and Futures Commission for Associated Entities.
  2. International AML/CFT standards mainly comprise the AML/CFT requirements as promulgated by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body which sets international standards for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Hong Kong has been a member of the FATF since 1991, and will undergo a mutual evaluation, scheduled for November 2018, conducted by other FATF member jurisdictions of the implementation of the FATF standards in Hong Kong.
  3. The term “international organisation” is defined in the Glossary of the FATF Recommendations. Some examples are the United Nations, International Maritime Organization and World Trade Organization.


HK SFC Press Release

HK SFC Consultation Page

HK SFC Consultation Paper

Categories: Anti-Money Laundering HK Securities and Futures Commission Proposed Rule Changes Public Consultations Regulation


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: