Jeremy Lam, head of financial services, was recently quoted in a topical article from Ignites Asia, a Financial Times service.
The article discusses a report released by an independent review panel which urges Hong Kong’s regulator to review and improve the way it handles licensing and enforcement cases, yet notes the effectiveness of its revamped mutual fund application processing. The report concluded that the SFC’s licensing department had been taking a “longer time” to process applications, and that it should review processes in light of changing financial markets, and streamline workflows to cope with a growing number of licensees undertaking a wider range of regulated activities.
“It’s clear that the number of applications for asset management licences has been growing significantly and the process for many years has been very “paper intensive”, with multiple forms needed to be filled out”, Jeremy commented. “Demand for new licences and the resources the regulator has have not been growing proportionately. But if applications are not in good order it’s not fair to expect applications to be processed efficiently,” he added.
On the revamped fund application process, Jeremy noted that the new streamlined process has significantly improved the overall approval times. “There is also much more clarity over the response times between the regulator and the industry, as well as improvements in the time and procedures for making changes to existing authorised products. Very few applications now take more than six months to process.”
“Only when a fund is a completely novel product, that has not been attempted before, will the regulator ask to consider the application before a formal submission is made and the overall time becomes much longer”, he added.
Read the full article here.
Ignites Asia is an online news source specifically for the Asian asset management industry. It is the sister publication to Ignites, the most popular fund industry news source in the United States.