The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) reminded banks that anti-money laundering (AML) regulations should not be applied uniformly, as different businesses may have different AML risks. The HKMA Deputy General Manager Arthur Yuen stressed that although the number of companies opening bank accounts in Hong Kong has increased, banks should not create unnecessary obstacles to the account opening process.
In addition, Yuen noted that there are no legal or regulatory restrictions for banks to provide banking services to VA-related entities in Hong Kong. The HKMA expects regulated VASPs to open bank accounts within reasonable limits. To help banks, the HKMA will issue a series of recommendations and best practices and will hold a roundtable for the banking industry and virtual asset service providers on April 28 to exchange views.
Hong Kong aims to become a global center for cryptocurrencies and is expected to benefit from the US government’s anti-crypto stance. The region has already provided access to funds traded on crypto exchanges, and a proposal to license retail crypto exchanges is under consideration. An exchange guide was expected in May.