The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has unveiled a series of policy initiatives for banks to embrace technology, and changed the city’s tax regime to attract corporate treasury departments, as it sharpens its edge to compete with Singapore and Tokyo as Asia’s financial centre, reported the South China Morning Post. The HKMA plans to set up a FinTech Innovation Hub and a FinTech Supervisory Sandbox with the aim to push banks to embrace technology in order to make financial transactions safer, speedier and more convenient for consumers. The efforts
“Technology has provided many new and very convenient means to conduct financial transactions, ranging from the basic payment and banking services to the more sophisticated trading and investment activities,” HKMA CEO Norman Chan said at Hong Kong’s annual Treasury Markets Association gathering on Tuesday. “Without compromising consumer and investor protection, the HKMA embraces the use of FinTech and innovation. While some of the largest banks have built their own laboratories, this new Fintech hub will cater for the big and small institutions alike such that the industry as a whole would be able to adopt new technologies more speedily and in a more collaborative manner.”
The HKMA’s FinTech hub with the Applied Science & Technology Research Institute will provide a controlled environment separate from banks’ internal systems, where financial institutions can be equipped with the needed resources to develop technology products related to finance, according to South China Morning Post. Some see HKMA’s new initiatives for Hong Kong as much needed and overdue, aiming to help Hong Kong catch up with the UK, US and Singapore markets.
“FinTech is a worldwide trend and Hong Kong banks need to develop in the area quickly,” Hong Kong Institute of Bankers Senior Consultant Wilson Chan told the South China Morning Post.