On 29 June 2012, Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) published its Disciplinary Fining Guidelines under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Financial Institutions) Ordinance (AMLO) to indicate how it will exercise its power to impose fines under this new AML legislation.
The guidelines came into effect on 1 July 2012 and are largely consistent with the previous guidelines published in 2003. The SFC has restated its policy of publishing all fining decisions.
Key points under "General considerations" are:
In terms of the "Specific considerations", the SFC will consider whether the firm:
The SFC will also consider whether the conduct was "one-off"; was wide-spread in the industry; or reveals serious or systemic weaknesses particularly in respect of the firm's customer due diligence and record-keeping procedures.