HONG KONG: Hong Kong bankers and legal professionals will be capable to search town’s firms registry underneath proposed exemptions to plans to tighten public entry to the database, Secretary for Monetary Providers Christopher Hui mentioned on Saturday (Jun 12).
Enterprise and governance consultants have criticised a authorities plan to limit entry to the non-public data of firm administrators, outlined this yr, saying it would cut back transparency within the metropolis’s company sector.
Dealmakers working by the due diligence part of company transactions commonly seek the advice of the database to analysis and confirm the historical past and identities of executives and administrators.
Hui instructed a RTHK Radio programme on Saturday that legal professionals, bankers and accountants may now apply to the corporate registry to realize entry to paperwork for work functions.
“However the premise is that they must be actually doing related checks and work, as a result of we have to strike a stability and shield privateness,” Hui was quoted as saying on the RTHK web site.
“For instance, legal professionals, accountants and banks must be doing the searches for know-your-customer checks or work associated to compliance and anti-money laundering.”
The proposed exemptions had been confirmed to Reuters by Hui’s spokeswoman.
Adjustments to the registry introduced earlier included a primary part which gave firms a right away choice to withhold details about administrators, reminiscent of their addresses and identification or passport numbers.
A second part would withhold all paperwork containing such data from public view.
The Hong Kong authorities had argued the reforms had been wanted to guard privateness.
Info on the info base can be generally used to hint cross-party and cross-company possession constructions that function in Hong Kong’s typically opaque company system.
(Reporting by Scott Murdoch in Hong Kong; Modifying by Robert Birsel)