14 Jun 2021
Hong Kong bankers and lawyers will be able to search the city’s companies registry under proposed exemptions to plans to tighten public access to the database, Secretary for Financial Services Christopher Hui said on Saturday.
Business and governance experts have criticised a government plan to restrict access to the personal information of company directors, outlined this year, saying it will reduce transparency in the city’s corporate sector.
Dealmakers working through the due diligence phase of corporate transactions regularly consult the database to research and verify the history and identities of executives and directors.
Hui told a RTHK Radio programme on Saturday that lawyers, bankers and accountants could now apply to the company registry to gain access to documents for work purposes.
“But the premise is that they have to be really doing relevant checks and work, because we need to strike a balance and protect privacy,” Hui was quoted as saying on the RTHK website.
“For example, lawyers, accountants and banks have to be doing the searches for know-your-customer checks or work related to compliance and anti money-laundering.”
By Scott Murdoch, Reuters, 12 June 2021
Read more at Reuters
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