Hong Kong securities watchdog SFC signs MOU with police to crack down on financial crime

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 August, 2017, 8:06pm
UPDATED : Friday, 25 August, 2017, 8:06pm

Hong Kong’s securities watchdog and the city’s police force have signed a memorandum of understanding for deeper cooperation in cracking down on financial crimes, according to a statement issued by the Securities and Futures Commission on Friday evening.

SFC executive director of enforcement Thomas Atkinson signed the MOU with assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime) Chung Siu-yeung, allowing the two enforcement agencies to further strengthen co-operation in combating financial crime.

“Close collaboration with the Hong Kong Police allows the SFC to discharge its regulatory functions with greater efficiency and effectiveness,” Atkinson said in the SFC statement.

“We have always valued the support provided by the Hong Kong Police and we look forward to even closer collaboration with them.”

Both the SFC and the city’s police carry out their respective duties in combating crime and illicit activities relating to the securities and futures industry in Hong Kong. The SFC said it believes the MOU will strengthen the collaboration between the two parties when working together to crack down on malpractise in the financial market.

Hong Kong operates the sixth largest stock market in the world, with trading done by more than 500 stock brokers.

In May the SFC proposed a range of improved cybersecurity measures for stockbrokers after 27 hacking attacks on 12 licensed financial firms in the 18 months to the end of March resulted in losses totalling HK$110 million (US$14.2 million). The SFC referred the cases to the police for investigation.

Hong Kong’s SFC probes brokerages’ cybersecurity preparedness after HK$100 million in unauthorised trades

The SFC said the MOU would further strengthen both sides in terms of procedures and provisions on referral of cases, joint investigations, exchange and use of information, and mutual provision of investigative assistance.

The MOU will also allow the two groups to establish a framework for closer collaboration on policy, operational and training issues.

Chung said it was important in enhancing collaboration between the two enforcement agencies.

“This MOU represents a milestone in our co-operation that forges an even closer partnership between the two organisations in combating crimes and illicit activities in the securities and futures markets,” Chung said.