The Securities and Futures Commission (the SFC) is Hong Kong’s principal non-bank financial regulator, while the Hong Kong Monetary Authority regulates banks and deposit-taking companies.
The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, the stock and futures exchanges and the clearing houses enforce their own trading, settlement and clearing rules under the supervision of the SFC.
Other regulators of Hong Kong’s financial markets include the Insurance Authority, which regulates insurance intermediaries the Companies Registry, whose Money Lenders Section regulates licensed money lenders, the Customs and Excise Department which oversees the operation of money service operators and others.
The SFC’s regulatory objectives are set out in Section 4 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap 571) (the SFO). Among its functions, the SFC regulates the activities of persons carrying on regulated activities, authorises investment products and investigates market misconduct.
Since 1 April 2003, the SFO has been the principal legislation regulating the financial markets in Hong Kong. It codifies ten previous ordinances, creating a more efficient regulatory regime. The SFC is empowered under SFO to introduce subsidiary legislation to facilitate its own functions.