Latest News

Hong Kong: New Licensing Regime for Trust or Company Service Providers
A new licensing regime for trust or company service providers (TCSPs) has been introduced under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (AMLO). Under the new licensing regime, TCSPs are required to apply for a licence from the Registrar of Companies and satisfy a “fit-and-proper” test before providing trust or company services in Hong Kong.

This will take effect on March 1, 2018.

Requirements for Application

With effect from 1 March 2018 (“the Commencement Date”), a person will be granted a licence to provide trust or company services in Hong Kong if immediately prior to the Commencement Date, already held a valid business registration certificate for that purpose. This licence will cease to have effect after the transitional period of 120 days from the Commencement Date.

A person (except for the Government, an authorised institution, a licensed corporation, an accounting professional or a legal professional) who provides or wishes to provide trust or company services in Hong Kong is required to apply for a license within 120 days from the Commencement Date and satisfy a “fit-and-proper” test.

Any person who provides trust or company services in Hong Kong without a licence is committing an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine up to HK$100,000 and imprisonment up to six months.

TCSP licensees are required to comply with the statutory customer due diligence and record-keeping requirements under Schedule 2 of the AMLO and the licensing conditions imposed by The Registrar of Companies.