The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) will issue a circular to banks to clarify account opening rules for cryptocurrency companies.
The Hong Kong regulator will explain how banks should conduct customer due diligence (CDD). The announcement was made by HKMA Deputy Executive Director Arthur Yuen.
Although the Hong Kong authorities actively support the development of the crypto-business. Then this industry is experiencing difficulties with access to banking services. But it is necessary for companies to store fiat assets, pay staff and pay suppliers.
The authority reviewed reports from industry participants that there may be difficulties with the account opening process and banks may reject applications. The HKMA then decided to explain to banks the rules for vetting customers. The regulator expects that crypto-service providers will be able to successfully open accounts using simple procedures.
The HKMA actively discussed the issue with banks and reminded them that there are no legal requirements. That prohibit Hong Kong banks from providing services to virtual asset (VA) related entities. The department also advised banks to avoid unnecessary processes. And refrain from adopting a “one-size-fits-all” approach to rejecting account applications.
On April 28, the HKMA and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) will co-host a roundtable discussion for the banking industry and crypto-service providers. This is done to exchange views on account opening and other information.
Our experts note that as of June 1, a new regime will come into effect in the region. According to which all cryptocurrencies operating in Hong Kong or with local investors must obtain an SFC license. Many major crypto exchanges, such as Huobi, OKX and Bitget, have already applied for a license. Or have announced the establishment of a local licensed unit.
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