The Companies (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 and the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Financial Institutions) (Amendment) Bill 2018 were passed by the Legislative Council on 25 January 2018 and came into force on 1 March 2018.
Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Financial Institutions) (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 – Expanding Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing regulation of Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs)
The Ordinance will extend the existing Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (AMLO) to cover solicitors, accounting professionals, real estate agents and trust and company service providers (TCSPs), such that these designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs) sectors will be subject to the statutory customer due diligence (risk-sensitive approach) and record-keeping requirements when engaging in specified transactions.
Scope of Coverage
Record-keeping requirement for DNFBPs
The AMLO presently requires financial institutions to maintain the identification data, account files, business correspondence and records of transactions for a period of 6 years. DNFBPs will be subject to the same requirement when they come under the regulation of the AMLO.
Licensing Regime for TCSPs
Under the Ordinance, any person providing trust or company services as a business will be required to obtain a license from the Companies Registry. The Companies Registrar will have the powers to appoint an authorized person to enter premises of TCSPs for conducting investigation and seizure with a warrant issued by a magistrate.
How it could affect you
Vistra Hong Kong will become a Trust or Company Service Provider licensee. We will review all customer due diligence in file of each company and if necessary reach our clients to obtain any outstanding documents or information immediately after the enforcement of the new legislation.
How Vistra can support
Please do not hesitate to contact us or your account manager should you have any queries.