ComplianceAsia has a proven track record since 2003 of obtaining licensing and registrations for financial services firms in Asia Pacific in an efficient and seamless manner. We also support hundreds of individual licensees with their licensing requirements.
We process Securities and Futures Commission ("SFC"), Hong Kong Monetary Authority ("HKMA"), Insurance Authority ("IA") and Customs & Excise licences in Hong Kong and MAS licences in Singapore and make Form ADV and other filings with the US SEC. We also assist with license applications in other jurisdictions, and help firms obtain exchange memberships and remote trading rights throughout Asia and foreign investor IDs.
Our specialist licensing division will:
• Assess the experience and qualification of your CEO, responsible officers or other key employees
• Collate all required information from you and your staff
• Assist with capital adequacy returns and planning
• Assist with business plans required for submission to regulators
• Liaise with local regulators for meetings
• Prepare and submit licensing applications for corporations and individuals and handle all additional questions from the regulators
• Negotiate licensing conditions
• Prepare critical compliance documents, such as compliance manuals, risk management frameworks and operational procedures
To make our licensing service more comprehensive, we work closely with your other advisers to ensure that the important legal, tax and accounting issues connected with an application are also addressed.
After your firm has obtained its licences we can continue to help you by providing ongoing support to help you maintain your regulatory obligations.
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Almost all financial industry participants physically located in Hong Kong need to obtain a corporate licence to conduct business and to license individuals who will be providing designated services within the scope of that company's business activities. Brokers, fund managers and advisors are licensed and regulated by the SFC.
At present, the SFO prescribes 10 licence types:
|Dealing in securities
|Dealing in futures contracts
|Leveraged foreign exchange trading
|Advising on securities
|Advising on futures contracts
|Advising on corporate finance
|Providing automated trading services
|Securities margin financing
|Providing credit rating services
Two new licence types are expected to be added at some point in the near future:
• Type 11: Dealing in OTC derivative products or advising on OTC derivative products
• Type 12: Providing client clearing services for OTC derivative transactions
• Type 13:Providing Depositary Services for Relevant Collective Investment Schemes.
Existing RA13 practitioners are required to submit their LR application between 1 June and 31 July 20234. Amendment of Government Gazette will take effect on 2 October 2024.
Banks, virtual banks and stored value facilities are licensed under the Banking Ordinance and are primarily regulated by the HKMA.
Insurers, insurance agents and insurance brokers are licensed and regulated by the Insurance Authority under the Insurance Ordinance.
Money Service Operators ("MSO") are licensed and regulated by the Customs and Excise Department.
Obtaining a regulatory license and ensuring ongoing compliance with the applicable legal and regulatory requirements, including the legislation and the rules and guidance issued by the SFC, HKMA and IA are critical business functions for financial industry firms in Hong Kong.
Carrying on a regulated business without holding the correct type of licence may constitute an offence and can result in criminal prosecution.
The MAS acts as the sole regulator for the financial industry in Singapore and requires all financial industry firms to be either licensed with it or to make applications for exemption from licensing.
Fund management, dealing in capital markets products, markets and market operators require licenses as Capital Market Services Licence Holders under the Securities and Futures Act. The provision of financial advice is governed by the Financial Advisors Act.
Firms operating in Singapore need to be licensed in one of the following categories:
• CMS licence as an Accredited/Institutional Licensed Fund Management Companies ("A/I LFMCs") or
• Retail Licensed Fund Management Companies ("Retail LFMCs")
• Registered Fund Management Companies ("RFMCs")
• Venture Capital Fund Management Company ("VCFM")
• CMS licence for dealing capital markets products
• CMS licence for corporate finance
• Exempt corporate finance licence
• Financial advisor licence
• Exempt financial advisor licence
We can assist with license applications in Malaysia, Australia, the PRC and Korea, and help firms obtain exchange memberships and remote trading rights throughout Asia and foreign investor IDs.