Weak Enforcement Could Mar Hong Kong’s AML Reforms, Say Analysts

By Brian Monroe and Colby Adams

The effectiveness of Hong Kong's new anti-money laundering law will hinge largely on the willingness of the jurisdiction's regulators to enforce its new powers, according to former investigators and consultants. The special administrative region passed the measure in June, codifying bank customer due diligence rules and recordkeeping requirements as well as granting the jurisdiction's financial regulator new penalty powers. The anti-money laundering (AML) law affects banks, money services businesses (MSBs), insurance companies and securities firms, among others. But in a region known for light-handed oversight, there is little reason to think that Hong Kong officials will enforce regulations anymore than...