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Banks in Hong Kong Must Open Accounts for Crypto Companies

DDHK. ORG – The Central Bank of Hong Kong requires banks in Hong Kong to open account for crypto companies.

Reporting from coverage6, Monetary Authority Hong Kong (HKMA), the region's central bank institution and regulator, has asked banks to provide services to cryptocurrency companies.

On April 27, 2023, the HKMA issued a circular regarding corporate customer access to banking services. In the document, the regulator has required the competent authority, which is referred to as “AI”, to adopt a risk-based approach in Anti-Money Laundering efforts.

The HKMA also urges institutions in Hong Kong to pay close attention to market developments and take a forward-looking approach to new sectors such as the crypto market.

Hong Kong's central bank specifically requires the institution to assist virtual asset service providers (VASPs) in obtaining banking services.

“AI should strive to support VASPs licensed and regulated by the Securities and Futures Commission for their legitimate need for a bank account in Hong Kong,” said the Central Bank of Hong Kong, quoted by Cointelegraph, Tuesday (2/5/2023).

The regulator emphasizes that customer due diligence (CDD) actions must be proportional to the customer's risk level so as not to create an undue burden on the customer.

Additionally, the statement encourages lenders to train staff and set up dedicated divisions to support the crypto industry while avoiding a “no-risk wholesale approach” that rejects new industries or certain nationalities. [DDHK News]

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