Sovereign Group is among the first Hong Kong-based firms to be formally licensed as a Trust or Company Service Provider (TCSP).
Sovereign Trust (Hong Kong) and its local sister companies Sovereign Fiduciaries, Sovereign Fiduciaries Services and Sovereign Trustees have all been granted TCSP licences.
Companies must apply for a licence from the Registrar of Companies and satisfy a ‘fit-and-proper’ test before they are allowed to provide trust or company services as a business in Hong Kong.
Licensees are also required to comply with the statutory customer due diligence and record-keeping requirements.
In accordance with best international practice
Julia Connolly, director of Sovereign Trust (Hong Kong), said: “This is the first time that TCSPs have been subject to their own regulatory regime in Hong Kong. We have been lobbying the relevant authorities for many years to introduce licensing in Hong Kong in order to ensure that standards within the industry are consistent and in accordance with best international practice.
“In recent years, gaining access to banking in Hong Kong has become increasingly difficult for non-resident companies seeking to conduct business through Hong Kong. It is to be hoped that the new TCSP Registry will enable Hong Kong banks to welcome applications for accounts from entities using Hong Kong as an international finance centre.
“The introduction of the TCSP licensing regime is an important step in fulfilling the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in respect of Hong Kong. It means that Hong Kong can once again act as the commercial service centre for the Far East and welcome investors that wish to take advantage of the excellent professional services available in Hong Kong and have their affairs settled under Hong Kong law,” Connolly said.
Global array of licences
The TCSP licences add to the 31 professional licences already held by Sovereign Group companies around the world: including in the Bahamas, Bahrain, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Dubai, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Malta, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Singapore, Turks & Caicos Islands and the UK.