Hong Kong Data-Sharing Platform Has Disrupted Financial Crime: Regulator

By Valentina Pasquali

A new forum through which Hong Kong-based investigators, regulators and compliance officers have exchanged data over the past 12 months has aided the detection and disruption of money laundering and other financial crimes, a senior official said Monday.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority and senior managers and analysts from 10 financial institutions, including Standard Chartered, HSBC and Bank of China, participate in the Fraud and Money Laundering Intelligence Taskforce, or FMLIT, which began work in May 2017 as a 1-year project modeled on earlier platforms in Singapore and Australia.

The exchange of financial intelligence through FMLIT and subsequent identification of money-laundering trends and techniques have led to the arrests of 71 suspects and the freezing or seizure of roughly $3 million of illicit funds in the past 10 months, HKMA Deputy Chief Executive Arthur Yuen said.

“I believe that this kind of cooperation shows real promise for sustainable enhancement to the effectiveness of our framework, and the HKMA strongly supports its continuation and development,” Yuen told attendees of the ACAMS AML & Financial Crime Conference in Hong Kong on Monday.

The HKMA is set to release its first national assessment of the money laundering and terrorist financing risks facing Hong Kong ahead of an international evaluation by the Financial Action Task Force, or FATF, Yuen said.

“The HKMA will be holding briefings for the banking and SVF [stored value facilities, such as prepaid cards] sectors in the coming weeks to communicate the risks identified in that assessment process in order to help institutions reflect such in their own risk assessments.”

FATF will conduct an onsite review of Hong Kong’s controls against financial crime in November and publish its findings next year.

Mainland China is also preparing to undergo FATF’s mutual evaluation process, which, according to the intergovernmental group’s website, will begin with an onsite visit in June or July.

Topics : Anti-money laundering
Source: Hong Kong
Document Date: April 23, 2018