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Hong Kong SFC Released Guidelines on Online Distribution and Advisory Platforms

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) have released consultation conclusions on Guidelines on Online Distribution and Advisory Platforms.  A total of 34 written submissions were received from asset management firms, industry associations, robo-advisory and Fintech companies, law firms and individuals.

” Hong Kong SFC Released Guidelines on Online Distribution and Advisory Platforms “

The Guidelines will provide guidance on the design and operation of online platforms, including automated or robo-advice, suitability requirements and defining complex products for clients.  For example, ”Complex products” refer to products whose terms, features and risks are not reasonably likely to be understood by retail investors because of their complex structures. Under the Guidelines, online platforms are required to ensure that any transaction in a complex product (other than exchange traded derivative products) in Hong Kong or in a specified jurisdiction) is suitable for the client, regardless by solicitation or recommendation.

Ashley Alder, the SFC’s Chief Executive Officer:


“We hope that the clarifications and guidance will facilitate the growth of online platforms, giving investors greater choice of products and advice.  The guidelines represent a balanced regulatory approach. They allow more flexibility for investors to manage their investments online, whilst providing them with additional protection in relation to complex products whose features and risks retail investors may have difficulty in fully understanding”

The consultation began on 5th May 2017. Learn more: The Consultation Conclusion.  The guidelines will become effective 12 months after gazettal on the 6th April 2018.

 

Participating Firms (By alphabetical order)

  1. AGDelta Limited
  2. Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association
  3. Baker & McKenzie
  4. BlackRock, Inc.
  5. CompliancePlus Consulting Limited
  6. Computershare
  7. Consumer Council
  8. Deacons
  9. Hong Kong Investment Funds Association
  10. iFAST Financial (HK) Limited
  11. Morningstar Investment Management Asia, Ltd
  12. Noble Apex Advisors Limited
  13. Nutmeg Asia Limited
  14. Private Wealth Management Association
  15. TD Ameritrade Hong Kong Limited
  16. The Hong Kong Association of Banks
  17. The Hong Kong Association of Online Brokers Limited
  18. The Hong Kong Society of Financial Analysts
  19. The Institute of Financial Planners of Hong Kong
  20. The Law Society of Hong Kong
  21. Thomson Reuters
  22. Vanguard Investments Hong Kong Limited
  23. Yunfeng Securities Limited
  24. and more (names undisclosed)

Source: Securities and Futures Commission 



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