The first quarter of 2018 will end shortly. It is time to remind all licensed individuals to start planning their 2018 CPT requirements.
As internal training can be counted as CPT, provided it meets the SFC’s requirements as set out in the Guidelines on Continuous Professional Training, firms should use CPT as the opportunity to make sure licensed individuals are aware of the firm’s internal policies on the SFC’s hot topic areas (e.g. selling practices, best execution policy and managing conflicts of interest) and new regulatory requirements (e.g. AML (see our client alert of 1 March 2018) and the new Fund Manager Code of Conduct).
People who visit Hong Kong repeatedly on business for a short period of time may apply for a licence to be an itinerant professional. Itinerant professionals can carry out regulated activities in Hong Kong for up to 30 days in each calendar year and are exempted from taking local licensing exam.
It is important to note that itinerant professionals are representatives of the Hong Kong licensed entity when they are in Hong Kong and are not able to represent their home employer. Therefore, when conducting any regulated activities in Hong Kong, they are acting as representatives of the Hong Kong licensed entity and not of the overseas entity. They need to comply with local rules and regulations. They also need to be accompanied by a local licensed individual when performing regulated activities in Hong Kong.
Itinerant professionals can make visits without a chaperone only when visiting institutional professional investors. The Hong Kong licensed entity will need to provide an undertaking to the SFC that it will provide training in the form of a structured course to the individual to ensure that s/he is fully aware of the Hong Kong regulatory framework before s/he commences carrying out any regulated activity in Hong Kong.
The response to the SFC Fund Management Activities Survey 2017 is due on 6 April 2018, please see circular here.