Common Questions and Answers About Our Capabilities
To find out more about how we can assist in an SFC licence application, we set out below a list of common enquiries we receive from clients and our approach to addressing these enquiries.
We will discuss your planned business activities and assess how the regulatory framework applies. We routinely handle licensing applications so we have a solid understanding of when the SFC normally expects a license and the type of license the SFC will likely require.
At the same time, we routinely represent clients in SFC enquiries and SFC investigations where the SFC alleges breach of licensing requirements. As a result, we understand the precise boundaries of the licensing requirements under the SFO and where those boundaries and the SFC’s normal expectations diverge, enabling us to advise clients on the availability of exemption from licensing.
We will review the credentials of each responsible officer candidate and advise on the likelihood of the SFC approving him or her as a responsible officer and the conditions, if any, which the SFC may impose upon him or her in giving this approval.
Where the candidate is a borderline candidate for meeting SFC published competency requirements, we advise on how best to present the case for approval. We advise on whether exemptions may be available from examinations and if such exemptions may be available, we advise on how best to present any application for exemption.
As we routinely handle SFC licensing applications, we have a clear understanding of SFC practices and expectations.
The ability of an applicant to demonstrate to the SFC that it not only understands its regulatory obligations, but also how it can comply with those obligations dramatically increases the probability that a licensing application will be granted.
The regulations governing the ongoing operation of SFC licensed corporations and registered institutions are complex. It is not uncommon even for experienced investment professionals to miss or misunderstand the full range of regulatory requirements that could apply to their proposed business.
We have extensive background in these regulations. We review the proposed business activities and determine what regulatory requirements will apply and how the applicant can meet those requirements.
We prepare the business plan and the compliance manual that will form part of the application, thereby setting up the systems, policies and procedures that will help you comply with regulatory requirements and SFC expectations. We can prepare the full range of other policies and procedures which the SFC may expect the applicant to have in place.
We ensure that all the necessary forms are completed. We look at the application holistically to understand what areas of concern the SFC may have and we pre-empt those concerns, thus maximizing the probability of a quick and smooth application process.
We understand the requirements of the Securities and Futures (Financial Resources) Rules (“FRR”) and can advise the applicant on how much capital it may require, whether exemptions may be available to reduce capital requirements and how to qualify and apply for such exemptions.
We can advise on the applicant’s capital structure with a view to ensuring that capital is not only efficiently used but also is available in sufficient value to meet regulatory requirements.
Because we understand the SFC’s regulatory concerns, we are in a position to anticipate areas of weakness and to address those upfront so as to minimize delay or, worse, a rejection of the application.
At the same time, because we have extensive experience in SFC licensing applications, we can rapidly prepare the application and raise necessary questions with the applicant at an early stage.