Private banks grapple with front-office threats
Controlling client advisers is a greater source of debate and concern than ever before as private banks continue to struggle with the complex and uncertain regulatory and compliance landscape which is the new reality in Asian wealth management.
Hong Kong boosts AML standards for wealth planning providers
William Ahern of Family Capital Conservation looks at developments in Hong Kong to enhance the anti-money laundering regime for providers of wealth planning services.
Regulatory review - November 2011
Below is a snapshot of some of the key local and international regulatory and compliance developments in November 2011 relevant to the Asian wealth management industry.
Swiss banks may lose CHF47 billion from latest tax agreements
As much as CHF47 billion – about 2.3% of total offshore assets under management in Switzerland – might be lost before the implementation of Switzerland’s new withholding tax agreements with Germany and the UK, due to withdrawals and tax payments, according to a new study.
UK tax authority creates unit to target offshore tax cheats
A team of analysts, tax experts and investigators has come together at the UK’s HM Revenue & Customs as a new unit to crack down on offshore tax cheats.
Credit Suisse shares client names with US tax authorities
In response to a request from the US Internal Revenue Service, Credit Suisse has confirmed it revealed some of its US clients’ names to the local tax authorities, according to news reports.
Switzerland offers multi-billion dollar deal to settle US tax claims
According to a report by Reuters, the Swiss government has proposed a multi-billion dollar settlement with US authorities over allegations that it helped wealthy Americans avoid US taxes.
UK issues notice on money laundering controls in overseas jurisdictions
The UK’s HM Treasury has issued a Financial Sector Advisory Notice regarding the risks posed by unsatisfactory money-laundering controls in a number of jurisdictions.
Former UBS head of wealth management challenges UK fine
UBS’ former UK head of wealth management has challenged the ability of the country’s watchdog to punish senior executives for insufficient supervision, according to a news report.
UK cuts financial ties with Iranian banks
News reports have said that Britain has severed all ties with Iranian banks as part of a package of sanctions from the US, UK and Canada aimed at confronting Tehran's nuclear programme.
Report reveals findings of Swiss bank's dealings with PEPs
After investigating the way in which its banks have dealt with “politically exposed persons”, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, FINMA, has found that most financial institutions have fulfilled their due diligence obligations satisfactorily.
UK imposes largest individual fines of US$9.6 million for market abuse
The UK’s Financial Services Authority has imposed its largest-ever fine on an individual – US$9.6 million for manipulating the closing price of Reliance Industries securities on the London Stock Exchange.
US charges UBS for faulty recordkeeping related to short sales
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has charged UBS Securities for inaccurate recording practices when providing and recording “locates” to customers seeking to execute short sales.
HKMA issues guidance on remuneration disclosure
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has issued a circular to authorised institutions setting out detailed guidance on remuneration disclosure.
SFC reminds licensed corporations to properly manage risks
The Securities and Futures Commission has issued a circular to ensure the proper management of risks for all licensed corporations if they provide services to clients through overseas counterparties.
MAS responds to feedback on maintenance of insurance assets
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has issued a response to the feedback from the consultation on the review of section 21 of the Insurance Act on the maintenance of assets in Singapore, which was conducted in September 2010.
China launches RMB business for FX options
China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange recently released a notice launching two types of foreign exchange risk-reversal put and call options as of 1 December 2011.
Taiwan gives green-light to buying securities in Mainland China
Taiwan’s regulator recently announced that overseas branches of commercial banks are now allowed to invest in securities issued by government or corporations in Mainland China.
Former Citi banker indicted for stealing client funds
Inong Malinda Dee, a former relationship manager at Citibank’s Indonesia unit, was formally indicted at the South Jakarta District Court in early November, charged with two counts of banking crimes and one count of money laundering.
India starts receiving banking data from Switzerland
More than a year after India and Switzerland signed a revised Double Tax Avoidance Agreement, the Indian finance ministry said it has started receiving banking and tax-related information from Switzerland.
Government appoints teams to probe HSBC Swiss accounts
According to local news sources, the Indian government has appointed 12 teams to probe undisclosed offshore accounts allegedly held by almost 700 Indian citizens in the Swiss arm of HSBC.
Sydney financial adviser jailed for A$600,000 fraud
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has sentenced former financial adviser Alan Leslie Brown to three years’ imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to charges of obtaining money by deception, using a false instrument and dishonest conduct in relation to financial services.
Regulatory review - October 2011
Below is a snapshot of some of the key local and international regulatory and compliance developments in October 2011 relevant to the Asian wealth management industry.
Malaysia strengthens capital markets
To promote the development of Malaysia’s capital market in line with global standards, the Securities Commission has amended the Securities Commission Act 1993 and the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007, which came into force in early October.
India tightens penalties related to commodities trading
The Forward Markets Commission of India has tightened its existing penalty structure for delays in uploading client details for trading commodity futures – as it has found that some members have executed trades on behalf of clients without uploading their Unique Client Code (UCC) details.
Taiwan defines foreign securities and derivatives for brokers to buy
Taiwan’s Securities and Futures Bureau has clearly defined the range of foreign securities and derivatives that brokers can buy, releasing the rankings of the issuers or guarantors for foreign stock exchanges, government bonds and corporate bonds.
China regulates direct RMB settlement business for foreigners
The People’s Bank of China has released a guideline regarding direct foreign investments in renminbi settlement business.
China appoints new financial regulators
China has appointed new leaders for its banking, securities and insurance regulators.
CBRC regulates wealth management sector with new rules
China’s banking regulator has released a new rule to regulate commercial banks’ wealth management business, in relation to risk management and the sales process.
MAS urges private banks to raise competency
To further develop the local wealth management industry, the Monetary Authority of Singapore is urging private banks to raise competency, enhance market conduct and keep the financial sector clean.