Hong Kong is home to some of the most successful and widely used online trading brokerages and exchanges. The financial services industry is thriving here and it’s largely due to their favorable regulations. In fact, many trading brokers and financial services move from the countries in which they started to benefit from the regulatory environment presented in Hong Kong. So, what exactly is the regulatory authority governing financial businesses here and why is it so favorable for financial businesses? Find out below.show more
There is more than one regulatory authority regulating the financial markets in Hong Kong. One such regulatory agency is the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (AMLO), which implemented a Money Services Operators Licencing System (MSO) for the regulation of money changing services. The AMLO and MSO was established in 2012 and replaced the Joint Financial Intelligence Unit (JFIU) regulatory agency. The MSO regulates and licenses all money changing businesses which includes businesses who exchange currencies and operate in Hong Kong. The MSO also regulates remittance services, which are businesses who:
Send or arrange of the sending of money to a place outside of Hong Kong.
Receive or arrange of the receiving of money to a place outside of Hong Kong.
Arranging the receipt of money in a place outside of Hong Kong.
The Money Services Operators Licencing System (MSO) is responsible for the licencing of all money changing services in Hong Kong. This includes trading brokerages who are based both online and offline. The licencing of these businesses and services ensures that they are competent and qualified to provide money changing services. The MSO is responsible for assessing the businesses they licence as well as the renewal of their licences when about to expire. The MSO does not have as many responsibilities as most other regulatory authorities, however, the responsibilities they do have are very important and ensure trading brokerages and other money changing services operate as they should.
The MSO regulation protects traders and investors by ensuring the brokerages they licence are qualified and competent enough to offer these services. As well, they ensure that they follow the best practices when exchanging money and the rates of exchange are of the correct standards. All in all, the MSO protects consumers by ensuring the businesses they licence and regulate competently provide proper services.
All money changing services operating in Hong Kong are required to apply for an MSO licence. As well they must adhere to all the guidelines laid out for them. See some of the guideline listed below.
Must remain fit and proper at all times.
Must give written consent for routine inspections.
Must display and declare that they are licenced by the MSO.
All MSO licenced and regulated brokers must also comply with the rules and regulations of the AMLO and the CCE.