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Hong Kong SFC issues AML/CTF FAQs

Circular to Licensed Corporations and Associated Entities

Anti-Money Laundering / Counter-Financing of Terrorism

Frequently Asked Questions

The Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”) today published a new set of Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) in relation to anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (“AML/CFT”). The FAQs superseded the FAQs published in March 2012. A copy of the FAQs is attached in the Appendix to this circular1.

The FAQs, which should be read in conjunction with the latest AML/CFT guidelines2, address often asked questions by the industry about the implementation of some guideline provisions. They provide elaboration or illustration to provisions in the AML/CFT guidelines in order to promote greater understanding. The SFC will keep the FAQs for the AML/CFT guidelines under review and update them where necessary.

Licensed corporations (“LCs”) and associated entities (“AEs”)3 should have regard to the FAQs in meeting applicable AML/CFT statutory and regulatory requirements.

Should you have any queries regarding the contents of this circular, please contact Ms Remy Cheung at 2231 1186.

Intermediaries Supervision Department
Intermediaries Division
Securities and Futures Commission




1 The FAQs is also available on the SFC’s website at, under the section “Regulatory functions – Intermediaries – Supervision – FAQs”.
 This refers to the revised Guideline on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (For Licensed Corporations) (“AML/CFT Guideline”) and the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Guideline issued by the Securities and Futures Commission for Associated Entities (“Guideline for AEs”), which have come into effect on 1 November 2018.
3 Under paragraph 6 of the Guideline for AEs, AEs that are not authorized financial institutions are expected to have regard to the provisions of the AML/CFT Guideline as if they were themselves LCs.

It’s a 6+ page PDF document consisting of 17 questions on the following topics:

  • Overseas subsidiaries
  • Non-Hong Kong residents
  • Acceptable travel documents
  • Retention of a copy of travel documents
  • Principal place of business
  • Address of registered office
  • Presence of directors or beneficial owners for the purpose of account opening
  • Electronic documents
  • Document in foreign language
  • Expired documents
  • Source of wealth
  • Jurisdictions subject to a call by the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”)
  • Using intermediaries for ongoing monitoring
  • Independent validation of transaction monitoring systems
  • Certification
  • Sanctions screening of parties involved in payments
  • Record-keeping of unsuccessful applicants


HK SFC Notice

HK SFC Circular

Frequently Asked Questions (Appendix)

Categories: Anti-Money Laundering Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Guidance HK Securities and Futures Commission Sanctions Regulations


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