Receiving a Notice to Attend an interview at the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) can be quite unsettling. This should, not, however, cause you to be anxious especially if you know how to respond to this notice. Here are some important information and tips for you.
What is it for?
The SFC sends Notice to Attend, also known as the Section 183 Notice, to conduct inquiries on certain matters. The investigation may be related to any of the following: offense committed against the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO); engagement in fraudulent activities related to investments in securities, futures, or leveraged foreign exchanges; market misconduct; breach of disclosure standards set by the SFO; and dealing in investments that are not in the interest of the public.
According to SFC lawyer in Hong Kong, the SFC may also do so in aid of regulators outside the country.
What if I fail to comply?
If you fail to comply with the Section 183 Notice without any reasonable excuse, then you are guilty of a criminal offense. The punishment for such is a fine of $200,000 and one year in prison.
What shall I do?
Once you receive the notice, determine whether you are “under investigation” or simply “assisting investigation.” If you are “under investigation,” it means you are subject to inquiry because of a possible involvement in a suspected offense. The notice should specify the suspected wrongdoings, so take the time to read and understand its content.
How do I prepare?
Prior to your scheduled interview, it is important to look into the allegations and determine your role, if you had any, in them. Keep in mind that you are not allowed to tell this concern to other people except to your lawyer. Your lawyer should guide you through it by informing you about your legal rights, obligations, and potential liabilities.
Having a lawyer in such situation can make a lot of difference on the outcome of your interview with the SFC. Once you receive an SFC notice, talk to your lawyer right away so you can prepare to defend yourself.
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