Financial crimes have gone up in the last couple of years, especially since the boom of cryptocurrencies. Hong Kong is as vulnerable as any location, and because of that, public institutions are teaming up to fight against the illegal financial activity.
The country’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) put pen to paper on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The MoU, signed on Monday, has the objective of representing cooperation between the two institutions to combat financial crimes in the Asian nation, in a time in which the digital platform has been exploited with impunity.
Details of the Agreement
The alliance between the SFC and the ICAC will include several things, such as joint investigations, data and information-related collaboration, cases referrals, and even capacity building, among others.
The Memorandum of Understanding dictates that the two organizations will work to achieve improvements in the efficiency of their operations regarding the fight against financial crime, a situation that can endanger the integrity of the securities and futures markets in the influential Asian country.
Among the people signing the MoU at the start of the week were Thomas Atkinson, currently the Executive Director of Enforcement at the SFC, and Ricky Yau Shu-Chun, performing as the ICAC’s Deputy Commissioner and Head of Operations.
Atkinson stated that the agreement in the form of an MoU would let the SFC perform its regular statutory responsibilities, but with much more efficiency and with the opportunistic help of a partner that has experience fighting against corruption and financial crime. He also mentioned the importance of keeping the integrity of Hong Kong’s securities and futures markets intact.
A Three-Day Workshop
After the two parties signed the agreement, the first item on the agenda will be the launch of an investigation trading workshop, which will last three days and will let investigators of both institutions share their insight and expertise in their respective careers against financial crime.
According to Yau, the collaboration will lay the framework of fruitful cooperation between the two parties, in several aspects.
He said that the MoU shows a shared determination in keeping criminal activity in the field to a minimum in Hong Kong, securing a fair environment for people involved in the business.
The SFC has been watching over the country’s securities and futures market in recent years. Most notably, the organization fined a Hong-Kong-based brokerage platform named Sincere Securities Limited (SSL) with HK$5 million (the equivalent of $640,000) because of repeated regulatory infractions over the last decade.