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Authored by: Simon Deane and Kelly Poon
The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Bill 2022 was passed on 7 December 2022. In particular, the amended Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance has introduced (1) a licensing regime for virtual asset service providers and (2) a two-tier registration regime for dealers in precious metals and stones.
Miscellaneous amendments were also made to align with the latest international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”), including (i) an amendment of the definition of “politically exposed person” (“PEP”); (ii) the facilitation of a risk-based approach in determining the degree of customer due diligence (“CDD”) that former PEPs are subject to; (iii) supporting the use of technology by clarifying that a recognised digital identification system can be used for the purposes of CDD and satisfying the additional requirements where a customer is not physically present for identification purposes; and (iv) the clarification that a beneficial owner includes a trustee of a trust, a beneficiary and a class of beneficiaries of a trust entitled to a vested interest in the trust. The miscellaneous amendments aforementioned will come into operation on 1 June 2023.
The relevant HKMA circular can be found here, and the Government press release can be found here.
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