Modernisation of SFC licensing process

New licensing forms and questionnaires 

On 1 February 2019, the SFC issued a circular which announced the introduction of new licensing forms and supplements with effect from 11 February. The previous forms will still be accepted during a two-month transition period but from 11 April only the new forms must be used. 

In addition, the SFC has introduced two new Business Profile and Internal Control Summaries. Applicants for corporate licences will be required to complete Questionnaire A – General Business Profile and Internal Control Summaryand if they are applying for a specific business such as Type 9 (asset management regulated activity), they will also need to complete Questionnaire B – Specific Business Profile and Internal Control Summary. The SFC believes that these questionnaires will allow the SFC to identify potential regulatory issues at an early stage. “These new measures are part of the SFC’s front-loaded, risk-based approach to address issues as early as possible,” said Mr Ashley Alder, the SFC’s Chief Executive Officer. “It is essential for the SFC to modernise its licensing processes to keep ahead of rapid changes in the market landscape and the emergence of new technologies.” The forms and questionnaires are available here.

Licensees can refer to the new edition of the Licensing Handbook (February 2019) for additional guidance on these enhancements as well as recent policy updates. 

Mandatory electronic submission of annual returns and notifications

Also with effect from 11 April 2019, individual and corporate licensees will be required to submit their annual returns and notifications electronically through the SFC Online Portal. 

New requirement to confirm CPT hours undertaken

In these annual return forms, individual and corporate licensees (excluding registered institutions) are required to confirm their compliance with the continuous professional training (CPT) requirements for the previous calendar year. This confirmation was not required in previous versions of the annual return forms.