Banks

Overview

Hong Kong is home to 70% of the world’s 100 largest banks, making it one of the largest international financial centres in the world. Since the global financial crisis in 2008, market reforms and changing market conditions have continuously challenged the banking sector in Hong Kong. New technological developments in the industry have been and are expected to continue to disrupt traditional business models and how customer experience is delivered. The rise of Mainland Chinese banks have fundamentally changed the dynamic of the city’s marketplace.

We advise corporate and investment banks in relation to every aspect of their business, from complex strategic activities to their day-to-day transactional matters. Our lawyers frequently advise on regulatory issues, M&A mandates and corporate finance matters, including equity capital market and debt capital market activities such as underwriting as well as securities placements and bilateral and syndicated loans, both secured and unsecured. We have substantial knowledge of the Listing Rules of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and the Takeovers Code and have represented clients before the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and the Takeovers Panel.

Experience

( swipe left or right for more )
  • Counsel to a start-up investment bank in relation to arrangements between the founding shareholders

  • Counsel to a European based development bank in relation to the restructuring of the share capital structure of an investee company in Asia

  • Counsel to the Hong Kong financial services arm of a global business conglomerate based in the People’s Republic of China that has entities listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and Hong Kong Stock Exchange with annual revenues exceeding USD15 billion, in connection with a major restructuring of the client including a capital injection, the establishment of a joint venture and the structuring of the relationship between the parties

  • Co-counsel to a private investment firm in relation to its USD500 million acquisition of a global asset management operation

  • Advising a managing director at one of the largest banks in Hong Kong in connection with the potential termination of his employment as a result of allegations of breaches of internal compliance requirements

  • Counsel to a start-up investment bank in relation to arrangements between the founding shareholders

  • Counsel to a European based development bank in relation to the restructuring of the share capital structure of an investee company in Asia

  • Counsel to the Hong Kong financial services arm of a global business conglomerate based in the People’s Republic of China that has entities listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and Hong Kong Stock Exchange with annual revenues exceeding USD15 billion, in connection with a major restructuring of the client including a capital injection, the establishment of a joint venture and the structuring of the relationship between the parties

  • Co-counsel to a private investment firm in relation to its USD500 million acquisition of a global asset management operation

  • Advising a managing director at one of the largest banks in Hong Kong in connection with the potential termination of his employment as a result of allegations of breaches of internal compliance requirements

Awards

( swipe left or right for more )
  • Corporate INTL Magazine

    Regulatory Law Firm of the Year in Hong Kong

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Chambers & Partners

    Leading Practice

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Chambers & Partners

    Leading Individual

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Legal 500

    Leading Individual

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Legal 500

    "Recommended Practice"

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • IFLR 1000

    Leading Practice

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Asialaw Profiles

    Leading Practice

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Asialaw Profiles

    Market-Leading Lawyer

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Chambers & Partners

    Leading Lawyer

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Asialaw Leading Lawyers

    Market-Leading Lawyer

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Asialaw Profiles

    Outstanding Practice

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • IFLR 1000

    "Positively Ranked"

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • IFLR 1000

    Highly Regarded Lawyer

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Chambers & Partners

    Well Regarded Lawyer

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Corporate INTL Magazine

    Regulatory Law Firm of the Year in Hong Kong

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Chambers & Partners

    Leading Practice

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Chambers & Partners

    Leading Individual

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Legal 500

    Leading Individual

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Legal 500

    "Recommended Practice"

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • IFLR 1000

    Leading Practice

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Asialaw Profiles

    Leading Practice

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Asialaw Profiles

    Market-Leading Lawyer

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Chambers & Partners

    Leading Lawyer

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Asialaw Leading Lawyers

    Market-Leading Lawyer

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Asialaw Profiles

    Outstanding Practice

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • IFLR 1000

    "Positively Ranked"

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • IFLR 1000

    Highly Regarded Lawyer

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Chambers & Partners

    Well Regarded Lawyer

    Financial Services Regulatory

Insights

  • Opening Bank Accounts: Duties of Banks in Hong Kong to Combat Tax Evasion

    Hong Kong money laundering laws require banks to assess the risk of tax evasion in evaluating bank account opening applications. Prospective customers applying to open bank accounts must exercise sensitivity in understanding how their overall profile looks objectively from a tax evasion perspective to a bank and must exercise care in managing the presentation of their profile.

  • Opening a Bank Account in Hong Kong: Latest Regulatory Developments

    For many new businesses, opening a bank account is a mission critical task. Unfortunately, as a result of significant growth in laws intended to combat money laundering and tax evasion and to enforce international sanctions, the process of doing so in Hong Kong has become a Herculean challenge which not infrequently results in a disappointing dismissal by the bank of the account opening application. In a recent circular to banks, the banking regulator attempts to address these difficulties.

  • Freezing Assets in Cases of Suspected Money Laundering: Constitutionality and Civil Liability

    A recent decision of the Court of Appeal rejected a constitutional challenge against the “no-consent” regime under the Organised and Serious Crime Ordinance. The regime prohibits a person including a financial institution from dealing with property which the person knows or has reasonable grounds to believe are proceeds of crime unless the Joint Financial Intelligence Unit (JFIU) consents to such dealing. Though the consequences for a bank account holder can be a catastrophic loss of liquidity where consent is refused and that illiquid situation can persist indefinitely with no transparent process to hold the JFIU accountable, the court declined the opportunity to require greater safeguards. However, the court left open the possibility of a future constitutional challenge on the question of whether the regime was sufficiently certain and seemed to suggest that a heavier burden rests on financial institutions and other persons to ensure that they are not too aggressive in refusing access to accounts.