Key Information

inSight
Speeches
Speeches by Speaker
Norman T.L. Chan
Peter Pang
Eddie Yue
Arthur Yuen
Zeti Akhtar Aziz
Raymond Li
Edmond Lau
Esmond Lee
Meena Datwani
Vincent W.S. Lee
James Lau
Joseph Yam
Y K Choi
William Ryback
David Carse
Tony Latter
Andrew Sheng
Hans Genberg
Simon Topping
Michael Taylor
The Honourable Donald Tsang
Chen Yuan
Dai Xianglong
Don Brash
Jaime Caruana
Andrew Crockett
Mario Draghi
David Eldon
Stanley Fischer
Timothy F. Geithner
Stephen Grenville
Kenneth G. Lay
William McDonough
Ernest Patrikis
Glenn Stevens
Jean-Claude Trichet
Tarisa Watanagase
Zeti Akhtar Aziz
Carmen Chu
Press Releases
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
Press Releases by Category
Bogus Voice Message Phone Calls
Banking in Hong Kong
Fraudulent Websites, E-mails and Telephone System, and other fraud cases
Granting of Banking Licences
Exchange Fund
Table of Multiples of Notes and Payments for Allotted Amount under non-competitive tender
Table of Multiples of Notes and Payments of Application Amount under non-competitive tender
Tender of Exchange Fund Bills and Notes
Tender Results of Exchange Fund Bills and Notes
Tentative Issuance Schedule for Exchange Fund Bills and Notes
Appointments and Departures
HKMA Pay Review
HKMA Publications
Speeches
The Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation
Hong Kong Note Printing Limited
Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research
Exchange Fund Investment Limited
Others
Hong Kong Financial Infrastructure
International Relations
Investment Products Related to Lehman Brothers
Monetary Policy
Notes and Coins
Renminbi business
Credit Card Lending Survey
Monetary Statistics
Residential Mortgage Survey
Year 2000
Others
Guidelines and Circulars
Guidelines
Circulars
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
296.881

insight

Beware of Representations Using the Description “Bank”

(Translation)

It has recently come to our notice that certain crypto trading platforms have used the word “bank” in their names or websites, or mentioned the taking of “deposits” when describing their products and services.  I would like to take this opportunity to remind the public to beware of such representations and not be misled.

In fact, the use of such representations may breach certain provisions of the Banking Ordinance, including section 97 on restrictions on use of name “bank”, section 97A on false statements as to authorized status and section 92 on offence to issue advertisements, etc. relating to deposits.  It is an offence for any person who, without the consent of the HKMA, uses the word “bank” in the name, website or domain name under which such person is carrying on business in Hong Kong, or invites members of the public to make any deposit.

Hong Kong is an international financial centre with around 200 banks and deposit-taking companies operating here.  Total bank deposits amount to HK$13 trillion.  As banks take deposits from customers, a high degree of public trust is crucial to their operations.  That is why, same as many other jurisdictions, licensing and supervision of banks are subject to stringent regulation by the laws in Hong Kong.  For example, to avoid the public from being misled, the use of the word “bank” in names or the extension of an invitation to members of the public to make deposits, without obtaining prior approval from the HKMA, is prohibited.  The list of banks and deposit-taking companies authorized by the HKMA can be found on the HKMA’s website (http://vpr.hkma.gov.hk/cgi-bin/vpr/index.pl).

As a matter of fact, even for non-banking industries, as long as the word “bank” (or the letters “b”, “a”, “n” and “k” in that order, or the Chinese expression “ngan hong” (銀行)) is planned to be used, no matter as part of a name, domain name, description of its activities or product representations, applications have to be made to the HKMA for approval.  In the past five years, the HKMA received and approved 18 related applications.  These organisations or bodies covered a wide range of sectors, including charity, food, alcohol, entertainment and digital game development, human resources, and stem cell storage.  When considering the applications, the HKMA will carefully take into account whether the use of those names and the nature will mislead the public into believing that the applicants are operating banking or deposit-taking businesses, before granting any consent.  However, I would like to point out that organisations or bodies with intent to defraud would not apply to the HKMA as required.  Members of the public should therefore pay heed to not fall prey to these traps.

As prices of crypto assets are highly volatile, the public should exercise extra caution about the associated risks, regardless of the channels through which they buy or transact crypto assets.  It must also be reiterated that although certain crypto trading platforms describe the funds placed with them as “deposits”, the funds are not protected by the Deposit Protection Scheme in Hong Kong, as these trading platforms are not banks authorized by the HKMA.  In other words, the funds may not be recovered should these trading platforms collapse.  Therefore, the public should fully understand the risks involved before opening accounts and placing funds with crypto trading platforms.  If in doubt, it is best to seek professional advice.

Besides, we have noticed some claims allegedly acting as an agent to deal in crypto assets issued by the HKMA, or offering crypto assets approved or authorized by the HKMA.  I would like to stress that the HKMA has never issued or approved any crypto asset-related investment schemes or products.

Before making any investment decision, the public should fully understand the nature and associated risks of the product.  Be a smart investor, as always!

 

Arthur Yuen
Deputy Chief Executive
Hong Kong Monetary Authority

21 June 2018  

Last revision date: 21 June 2018
ABOUT THE HKMA
The HKMA
Tender Invitations
Careers@HKMA
Legislative Council Issues
Links
The HKMA Information Centre
KEY FUNCTIONS
Monetary Stability
Banking Stability
International Financial Centre
Exchange Fund
PUBLICATIONS & RESEARCH
Annual Report
Half-Yearly Monetary & Financial Stability Report
Quarterly Bulletin
HKMA Background Briefs
Reference Materials
Research
MARKET DATA & STATISTICS
CMU Bond Price Bulletin
Economic & Financial Data for Hong Kong
Monthly Statistical Bulletin
Monetary Statistics
KEY INFORMATION
Press Releases
Speeches
Guidelines & Circulars
Forthcoming Events
inSight
OTHER INFORMATION
Information in Other Languages (Bahasa Indonesia, हिन्दी, नेपाली, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ, Tagalog, ไทย, اردو)
Account Opening
Consumer Corner
Consumer Education Programme
Complaints about Banks
Complaints about SVF Licensees
Internet Banking
Fraudulent Bank Websites, Phishing E-mails and Similar Scams
Be Careful of Bogus Phone Calls and SMS Messages
Authenticate the Callers and Bank Hotline Numbers
Register of AIs & LROs
Register of Securities Staff of AIs
Register of SVF Licensees
Investment Products Related to Lehman Brothers
Photo Gallery