The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has unveiled new electronic licensing functions on WINGS , an online platform for submitting information to the regulator. These functions are a cornerstone of the fully digitalised licensing process which the SFC plans to launch in 2021.
The move to full digitalisation will support the SFC’s backend processing and data analytics, providing holistic technological benefits. It will also help sharpen the SFC’s assessment of the fitness and properness of applicants and licensees and make the overall licensing process more efficient and effective.
The new online features introduced today include web-based licensing forms with auto-fill and skip logic features and pre-set validation rules to reduce errors. Electronic signatures will also be supported. Upgraded administration functions will allow separate accounts for licensees and their professional advisory firms, giving them more flexibility in how they handle licensing matters and manage submissions.
“The new online licensing platform marks an important milestone in the modernisation of our gatekeeping function to keep abreast of rapid advances in technology,” said Mr Ashley Alder, the SFC’s Chief Executive Officer. “It will provide greater convenience for the industry and at the same time allow the SFC to better integrate its front-loaded, risk-based approach into its licensing work.”
The SFC plans to move all of its licensing-related processes to WINGS around mid-2021 . To allow industry participants to familiarise themselves with the new features, firms are encouraged to activate their WINGS accounts during a trial period . User guides and educational videos, including information about account activation, are available on the WINGS website at https://wings.sfc.hk .
- WINGS is a common platform for SFC electronic forms and online submission services launched in January 2019.
- The SFC Online Portal should continue to be used to submit licence applications and for other licensing-related matters until the official launch of the new functions on WINGS.
- Details for account activation have been sent via email to the manager-in-charge for the overall management oversight function of each licensed corporation and to the executive officer of each registered institution and associated entity. Self-registered SFC Online Portal account users will be able to use their current usernames and passwords to login to WINGS to see the upgraded features.
- The SFC hosted webinars to explain the new features to industry participants in November and December. The presentation slides can be found on the SFC website. A dedicated technical support team provides assistance in using WINGS at (852) 2207-9333 or via email at TechEnquiries@wings.sfc.hk.