Financial Regulatory Forum

Tiger Asia case has exposed Hong Kong regulator’s enforcement reach, say lawyers

By Guest Contributor
September 15, 2011

The latest edition of Hong Kong dollar notes during an exhibition in Hong KongBy Ajay Shamdasani

HONG KONG/NEW YORK, Sept. 15 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – The Hong Kong securities regulator’s legal troubles in bringing disciplinary action against New York-based hedge fund Tiger Asia Management has shown the limitations of its regulatory reach and signalled that funds may be safer operating from offshore, according to a source close to the proceedings. The source, a senior local financial lawyer close to the case, said that his advice for foreign funds that did not need to be licensed and regulated in Hong Kong was to forgo doing so in order to reduce the risk of disciplinary action by the territory’s Securities and Futures Commission.

Insider Trading: Hong Kong’s Not So Smooth Criminals

By Guest Contributor
September 14, 2011

Hong Kong's central financial district's (L-R) Bank of China Tower, Cheung Kong Centre, HSBC headquarters, Standard Chartered Bank and Legislative Council (front L) are pictured lighted up before Earth Hour, March 26, 2011. REUTERS/Bobby YipBy Helen H. Chan (Hong Kong)

(Business Law Currents) – The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is putting the clamp on white collar criminals. Seeking to deprive convicted offenders of their freedom as well as their illicit gains, the watchdog is cracking down hard on insider dealing in the special administrative region. Recent disciplinary actions initiated by the watchdog are sending a strong message that all inside deals, even small missteps, will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Despite progress since 9/11, government must do more to combat terror finance, experts say

By Guest Contributor
September 12, 2011

By Brett Wolf

NEW YORK, Sept. 12 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - The fight against terrorism financing has advanced in the 10 years since the September 11, 2001 attacks, but vulnerabilities remain in areas such as digital currencies and alternative transfer networks, and bureaucratic turf battles have reemerged, say former law enforcement officials who pioneered U.S. counter-terrorism financing efforts.

Is the medicine for financial services turning out to be worse than the disease?

By Guest Contributor
September 9, 2011

By Susannah Hammond

LONDON/NEW YORK , Sept. 9 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – Almost three years on from the fall of Lehman Brothers and the widespread public bail-out of financial services the world is looking grim. In the white heat of the crisis itself jurisdictions, policymakers and governments moved together to resolve the worst of the immediate issues and bought global financial services time to heal. While some recovery and mending of balance sheets has certainly taken place, global financial services continue to suffer at the hands of divergent policymakers, international recessions and sovereign debt crises.

Regulatory forbearance looms as next big supervisory risk for financial giants

By Guest Contributor
September 9, 2011

By Susannah Hammond

LONDON/NEW YORK, Sept. 9 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – Regulatory forbearance is not a concept that has hit many headlines. It is, however, emerging as an underlying theme in publications by a range of bodies, from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the European Union and beyond. Regulatory forbearance is not about supervisory incompetence but, rather, the potential for a fully briefed regulator to decide not to intervene. There may be many legitimate occasions when non-intervention is the right call but, when judged with the benefit of hindsight, more supervisory interventions, made sooner, could have ameliorated some of the worst of the issues arising out of the financial crisis.

U.S. Justice Department disputes charges it unfairly targeted community banks

By Guest Contributor
August 31, 2011

By Emmanuel Olaoye

NEW YORK, Aug. 31 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - The U.S. Justice Department disputed charges by community bankers that it is unfairly targeting them with fair lending actions, and said the cases have been consistent with the criteria it has used to bring cases in the last 15 years.

Yuan internationalization takes off in Hong Kong

By Guest Contributor
August 31, 2011

By Helen H. Chan (Hong Kong)

HONG KONG, Aug. 31 (Business Law Currents) – Yuan supporters both inside and outside of China are applauding anticipated regulatory changes in Hong Kong aimed at loosening capital controls over the renminbi, China’s national currency.

Banks face myriad difficulties in trying to return corrupt Gaddafi money

By Guest Contributor
August 30, 2011

By Martin Coyle

LONDON, Aug. 30 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – Banks face enormous legal and logistical challenges as they try to repatriate the billions of pounds worth of frozen Libyan assets invested in the war-torn North African state, according to industry officials. The process could take years to resolve even though the United Nations has already unfrozen some $1.5 billion in humanitarian aid which will be sent to the country.

Bankers, broker-dealers should do their homework before saying ‘yes’ to Chinese companies

By Guest Contributor
August 26, 2011

By Cavas Pavri, Thomson Reuters Accelus contributing author

NEW YORK, Aug. 26 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – The considerable negative publicity surrounding Chinese companies listed in the United States has made it increasingly difficult for investors to separate the undervalued from the fraudulent. Essential for success: Taking a close look at the firms’ auditors and corporate governance practices going forward.

PERSONAL VIEW: Reflections on the successful prosecution of Tom Wilmot, UK boiler room king

By Guest Contributor
August 26, 2011

By Alex Davidson – the views expressed are his own.

LONDON, Aug. 26 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – Earlier this week Tomas Wilmot was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court to nine years in jail for conspiracy to defraud investors out of 27.5 million pounds through boiler rooms. I took a particular interest in the case because I had once worked for a short period as a dealer at Harvard Securities, a licensed dealer in securities run by Wilmot in London in the late 1980s.  One of the most powerful bosses of speculative share dealing operations over some 25 years had finally been caught.