SFC waives annual fee for 37,000 licensees

20 Feb 2009

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has today announced a one-off waiver of annual licence fees, for over 37,000 intermediaries, effective 1 April. This initiative will be for one year only and will cost the SFC $138 million in revenue.

This measure is contained in the SFC’s 2009/10 budget and is proposed as a measure to relieve the regulatory cost burden of the securities industry. “In these difficult times we are all conscious of the effect of cost cutting on employees and we hope that this will help licensed entities continue to invest in their staff through training or other development activities,” said Mr Martin Wheatley, Chief Executive Officer of the SFC.

The proposed waiver will apply to all licensed corporations, registered institutions, responsible officers and representatives. The fees for new licence applications and transfers will remain unchanged. Detailed guidelines as to how the fee waiver will be administered will be issued shortly.

Details of this initiative are contained in the SFC’s budget which will be tabled for discussion at the Legislative Council Panel on Financial Affairs on 26 February 2009.

The budget also indicates that the SFC will hire an additional 29 full time staff to strengthen monitoring and supervision, enhance market surveillance and to bolster enforcement resources. In support of the Government initiative to create employment opportunities for new graduates the SFC will also offer one-year internships to 12 new graduates.

The budget projects a surplus of $697 million for the next financial year.


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