Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) to counter financial crime.

The agreement will support the referral of cases, data exchange, and capacity building.

Under the agreement, the two parties will also conduct joint investigations and offer mutual investigative support.

ICAC deputy commissioner and head of operations Ricky Yau Shu-chun said: “The MoU sets out the framework for cooperation and collaboration between the two agencies in various aspects, showing our common determination in maintaining a level-playing field for doing business in Hong Kong.”

The ultimate goal of the alliance is to prevent illegal activities in the securities and futures markets of Hong Kong.

SFC executive director of enforcement Thomas Atkinson said: “The arrangement under the MoU will enable the SFC to perform its statutory duties with greater efficiency and effectiveness in combating financial crime and maintaining the integrity of Hong Kong’s securities and futures market.”

Earlier this year, SFC signed an agreement with its Luxembourg counterpart Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) to improve cross-border fund sales.

Moreover, the Hong Kong regulator recently took action on several firms for their lapses.

In June, SFC fined Credit Suisse for regulatory failures.

Last month, the watchdog banned ex-Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner from the financial services industry for life over the 1MDB Malaysia state fund scandal.