Conflict of Interests of HKMA Management after Departure

Chan Kin-por: I would like to ask the Financial Secretary, apart from the notification period and the control period, has the Government put in place any legislation or measures to ensure that senior staff of the HKMA, who have taken up new employment in another organizations upon leaving the HKMA, will not make use of the information they obtained during their previous employment in HKMA to help the new organization in conducting business?

Financial Secretary: President, I have mentioned briefly earlier that comprehensive internal control and declaration procedures have been laid down by the HKMA, so that employees can avoid conflict of interests.

As for Mr CHAN’s supplementary question, one of the examples may be related to HKMA employees responsible for the regulatory work of banks. These employees may have come across some sensitive information in the course of their regulatory work, but they are subject to the stringent regulation of the secrecy provision under the Banking Ordinance. It is stipulated in section 120 of the Ordinance that the employee concerned “shall preserve and aid in preserving secrecy with regard to all matters relating to the affairs of any person that may come to his knowledge in the exercise of any function under this Ordinance”. There are other provisions. These secrecy provisions are applicable to all HKMA employees, regardless of their ranks, and the provision will be also applicable to all staff leaving the HKMA for an unlimited period. Anyone contravening this provision is liable to penalties for criminal offences, and may be subject to a fine and imprisonment of up to two years.

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