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Gazettal of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Financial Institutions) (Amendment) Bill 2017 and Companies (Amendment) Bill 2017
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     The Government published in the Gazette today (June 23) the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Financial Institutions) (Amendment) Bill 2017 and the Companies (Amendment) Bill 2017, in an effort to enhance Hong Kong's regulatory regime for combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

     The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Financial Institutions) (Amendment) Bill 2017 seeks to apply statutory customer due diligence and record-keeping requirements to designated non-financial businesses and professions when they engage in specified transactions. The Companies (Amendment) Bill 2017 seeks to require companies incorporated in Hong Kong to maintain beneficial ownership information.

     The Bills are intended to bring Hong Kong's regulatory regime up to date in line with international requirements as promulgated by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The FATF is an inter-governmental body that sets international standards on combating money laundering and terrorist financing. Hong Kong has been a member of the FATF since 1991.

     A government spokesperson said, "The two legislative proposals are pertinent to our fulfilment of the relevant FATF obligations, and will further reduce the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing in Hong Kong. This will safeguard the integrity of Hong Kong as an international financial centre, and add to our credibility as a trusted and competitive place to do business."

    The two Bills will be introduced into the Legislative Council for first reading on June 28, 2017.