Hong Kong’s securities regulator has reported a huge surge in the number of occasions when financial institutions in the city have failed to comply with anti-money laundering (AML) guidelines. In its annual report for 2015-2016, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) confirmed that the number of rule breaches in the year ending 31 March had risen by an astonishing 91 percent from 117 to 223 incidents. Financial penalties imposed during the year were also up by 58 percent to US$11.2 million, and this included a penalty of almost US$4 million imposed on JP Morgan in December for a series of control failures. The results of the SFC report are a reminder to companies of the need to implement a rigorous know-your-customer (KYC) process.
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