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Financial Reporting Council (Amendment) Bill 2018 gazetted
     The Government today (January 19) gazetted the Financial Reporting Council (Amendment) Bill 2018, which aims to enhance the regulatory regime for auditors of listed entities. 
     The Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr James Lau, said, "The Bill will enhance the existing regulatory regime for auditors of listed entities, allowing it to be independent from the audit profession, thereby providing better protection to investors. This is crucial to strengthening Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre and capital market. 
     "Benchmarking against international standards and practice, the new regime will also enable Hong Kong to be eligible for joining the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators, which is an important forum for international co-operation on the regulation of auditors," he added.
     Under the legislative proposals in the Bill, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) will become an independent oversight body regulating auditors of listed entities which are regarded as public interest entities (PIE), and be responsible for the inspection, investigation and disciplinary functions with regard to PIE auditors. Under the new regime, the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA) will continue to perform the statutory functions of registration and setting the requirements for continuing professional development, as well as setting standards on professional ethics, auditing and assurance, subject to oversight by the FRC. 
     The Government conducted a three-month public consultation in 2014 to solicit views on proposals to introduce an independent oversight regime for the regulation of listed entity auditors. With an overwhelming majority of respondents being supportive of the direction and objective of the reform proposals, the Government published the consultation conclusions in 2015 and proceeded with the preparation of the Bill. The Government has engaged relevant stakeholders, including the FRC and the HKICPA, in formulating the detailed provisions of the Bill.
     The Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council for first reading on January 24.
Ends/Friday, January 19, 2018
Issued at HKT 11:00
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