On 12 July 2018 the SFC issued a circular to provide guidance to intermediaries which intend to onboard individual clients online in response to enquiries raised by the industry.
Onboarding a client who is not physically present poses a higher risk of impersonation.
Intermediaries are allowed to use certification services that are recognised by the Electronic Transaction Ordinance for client identity verification in an online environment. In order to provide more flexibility, the SFC will also accept the following procedures to verify clients’ identities when onboarding individual clients online:
Intermediaries when onboarding overseas clients should be mindful of the requirements imposed by the domestic regulatory authorities.
The SFC may provide further guidance in the light of technological developments in the future.
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