Hong Kong's Dispute Resolution Centre Proposes Expanding Scheme

Hong Kong's Financial Dispute Resolution Centre ("FDRC") has proposed to raise the level of money an investor can claim under the scheme sixfold, as well as extending the limitation period for lodging claims to three years from the current 12 months. Under the new proposals, released in a public consultation paper, the amount of funds claimable under the scheme will be raised to HK$3 million from the current HK$500,000. 

The FDRC is also proposing expanding the scope of eligible claimants by incorporating small enterprises ("SEs") which have or have had a customer relationship with a financial institution, and to accept applications of claims which are under current court proceedings.

It said the proposals were based on experiences the FDRC has accumulated over the past years of operation, comments from various stakeholders and reference to practices in other overseas jurisdictions.

The FDRC is also proposing to deal with cases under certain circumstances, subject to a prior mutual agreement of the parties involved. These include financial disputes with a claimable amount in excess of the amended maximum claimable amount and financial disputes exceeding the amended limitation period for lodging claims. 

"With the proposed amendments to the FDRS, there would be a need to revise the FDRC’s fee schedule accordingly," the centre said. "A revised fee scale is proposed with reference to the local market conditions and comparison with the mediation cost figures published by the Judiciary."

The consultation is open until 31 December 2016.

Jurisdictions: 

North Asia editor for Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence. He is based in Hong Kong.