SFC Imposes Fines Totalling $479 Million During 2019-20 Financial Year

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has released its annual report 2019-20, which outlines regulatory activities and financial review. According to the report, SFC imposed fines totalling $479 million during 2019-20 for intermediary misconduct.

24 June, 2020 | AtoZ Markets – Financial markets recently faced unprecedented challenges stemming from the COVID-19 crisis. SFC released its annual report 2019-20. In the report, SFC highlighted its efforts to develop Hong Kong as a green and sustainable financial hub in the face of unprecedented challenges, particularly COVID-19 outbreak. Mr Tim Lui, the SFC’s Chairman said:

“It is more crucial than ever to deliver world-class regulation which upholds market integrity and supports Hong Kong’s vital role connecting mainland China with the world. Ensuring financial markets are healthy and sustainable is key to reinforcing Hong Kong’s status as a leading international financial centre.”

The Number of Licensees Increased During 2019-20

During the 2019-20 financial year, 20 companies, 9 responsible officers, and 15 licensed representatives were disciplined, resulting in fines totalling $479 million by SFC. During this time, the number of licensees and registrants increased to 47,167. The number of licensed corporations increased to 3,109. Since October 2013, the regulator took disciplinary action against 11 sponsoring companies and fined a total of $922.5 million.

As a result of monitoring improper price and volume movements, there were 8,767 requests for trading and account records from intermediaries. The regulator initiated 197 investigations, made 10 criminal charges against 6 individuals and 1 corporation, and convicted 3 people. The regulator also fine $400 million a company on inflating customers for 10 years. It was due to widening spreads after trading, excessive fees, and inadequate internal controls. Mr Ashley Alder, the SFC’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

“Our unwavering commitment to competence, independence, impartiality and public accountability is the foundation of the SFC’s work. In the years ahead, concerted global action on the part of regulators and the industry will be essential to address the formidable challenges we face.”

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