The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission has published its conclusions following a consultation on new regulations proposed to cover the activities of depositaries of SFC authorised collective investment schemes.

The changes proposed would affect both the law (legislative) and regulatory code amendments, as it seeks to introduce "Type 13 regulated activity (RA 13), a new regime to regulate depositaries (ie, top-level trustees and custodians) of SFC-authorised collective investment schemes."

Subject to the legislative process, the RA13 regime would come into effect by 2 October 2024, the SFC stated.

To help depositaries transition to the new regime, the SFC expects to provide specific guidance on the licensing process and to launch electronic licensing forms for RA 13 in the third quarter of 2023, adding: "Further announcements will be made in due course".

Electronic licensing forms for RA 13 will be made available on WINGS, the SFC's web-based platform for online submission services. Depositaries currently operating in Hong Kong are expected to submit their licence or registration applications within four months of the launch of the forms. 

Julia Leung, CEO, SFC, said: "Establishing a regulatory regime for depositaries of public collective investment schemes is an important part of the SFC's ongoing efforts to develop Hong Kong as an international asset management centre and will provide more protection for retail investors."

The consultation on the changes were launched in February 2022. The SFC said it received five written submissions from "an industry association, a business organisation, an individual and two markets participants."

Details of the questions put through the consultation and resulting conclusions can be found here: