HK bankers allowed to apply for access to corporate registry

Monday 14 June 2021 13:04 CET | News

Hong Kong bankers and lawyers will be able to search the city's companies’ registry under proposed exemptions to plans to tighten public access to the database, according to Reuters.

Dealmakers working through the due diligence phase of corporate transactions regularly consult the database to research and verify the history and identities of executives and directors. Information on the data base is also commonly used to trace cross-party and cross-company ownership structures that feature in Hong Kong’s corporate system.

But these checks and work need to be relevant; they should include know-your-customer checks or work related to compliance and anti-money laundering, due to data privacy protection.

Business and governance experts have criticised a government plan to restrict access to the personal information of company directors, outlined in 2021, saying it will reduce transparency in the city's corporate sector.

Changes to the registry announced earlier included a first phase which gave companies an immediate option to withhold information about directors, such as their addresses and identification or passport numbers.

A second phase would withhold all documents containing such information from public view.

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Keywords: money laundering, KYC, compliance, data protection
Categories: Securing Transactions | Digital Identity, Security & Online Fraud
Countries: Hong Kong
This article is part of category

Securing Transactions