News & Insights

SFC licensing and compliance hints – Feb 2020

SFC waives licensing fees for 2020/21

On 4 December 2019, the SFC announced a full annual licensing fee waiver for FY2020/21 i.e. from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 (full announcement here). The SFC said it did this to try and relieve the burden on the 47,000 individual and corporate licensees and registrants in Hong Kong, and in particular the smaller firms, given the current challenging market environment. This supersedes an earlier announcement by the SFC to only reduce fees for this period by 50% (SFC circular here).

Pay SFC fees via PPS account or credit card

Recently, some clients which pay their annual licensing fees to the SFC by mailing them a cheque, have been getting concerned that the payments may not reach the SFC and be reflected in their online portal in time. If this happens, you can just contact the SFC directly to explain the situation and typically this is sufficient. The SFC does however accept online payment by PPS or credit card, so it may be timely to reconsider how to ensure payments to the SFC are always made on time (see SFC Online Portal FAQs #27 and 28 available here).

Special arrangements relating to SFC’s public services and response times

On 5 February 2020, the SFC issued a public service notice (available here) explaining that because some staff members need to work remotely at the moment, response times may be longer than usual. If licensed firms are concerned about not being able to meet SFC deadlines, for example for annual report submissions, they should communicate with their usual SFC contact.

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