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Has Hong Kong become a garden for money launderers?


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香港成了洗钱的后花园了吗?As Hong Kong has grown into one of the world's economic superpowers, regulators such as the Hong Kong Monetary Authority ("HKMA") are under tremendous pressure to maintain this status and will be looking to exploit any weaknesses found within authorized institutions and use the powers under the Anti-Money Laundering (Financial Institutions) Ordinance ("AMLO") to make an example of them. In fact, since the introduction of the AMLO in April 2012, the HKMA have already conducted 14 on-site AML/CFT Examinations and are currently in the process of doubling their money-laundering investigative team.

"Has Hong Kong become a garden for money launderers?" explores one of the most anticipated questions since the introduction of the AMLO, including "whether policymakers need to consider increasing the penalties for non-compliance of anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing regulations"? There have already been discussions suggesting that the current level of fines may not be enough to make financial institutions take the problem seriously – and the only solution may be to use a bigger stick to force these institutions to improve their internal controls.

The alert also looks at some of the recent “breaking news” that has prompted such debates as well as Deloitte's approach in performing compliance reviews to ensure your institution is protected from regulatory and reputational risks.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact:

Chris Wilson, Partner / Principal

Mary Wong, Assoicate Director

 

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