Asia Litigation News: When Does Regulatory Misconduct Justify “Life”?

February 14, 2011
During the past year, the Hong Kong Securities & Futures Commission (“SFC”), the Hong Kong regulatory equivalent of the SEC in the United States and the soon-to-be revamped FSA in the UK, has completed some 227 enforcement cases, resulting in the issuance of 42 disciplinary sanctions including seven life bans imposed in 2010 alone. In addition, it commenced 41 criminal prosecutions, brought 10 civil proceedings and reported that its market surveillance team has been initiating more than 350 inquiries into suspicious trading activities every month, all of which mark a surge in enforcement efforts. Given the increase in both the quantity of cases and the severity of sanctions imposed, this update addresses the changing philosophy of the regulator on the imposition of life bans for market misconduct.