In The News: Electronic signatures for cross-border account opening allowed by securities regulator in Hong Kong

NEWSWIRE: October 25, 2016


A blessing has been given to the use of electronic or digital signatures when securities firms open accounts on behalf of clients by Hong Kong’s securities regulator.  This is expected to make it considerably more convenient for customers not based in the city to open an account here.  

Electronic signatures can be used to authenticate electronic documents, which is very similar to a handwritten signature which authenticates printed documents.  

Signatures verified by authorities outside of Hong Kong and recognized by the Hong Kong government would also be allowed, said the Securities and Futures Commission.  

The security houses should only deal with regulated financial institutions, certified professional accountants or notary publics to witness the signing of any client agreements and the signing of identity documents.  

“Some local securities firms have been using electronic signatures, but the SFC has never made it clear whether it was allowed,” said Kenny Tang Sing-hing, chairman of the Hong Kong Institute of Financial Analysts and Professional Commentators. “This official approval now makes it easier for local firms developing overseas clients, and the mainland is the biggest market.”

Read the full article here.