Hong Kong Monetary Authority Looks to Boost Fintech Relationships with China

Norman Chan, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), visited the Office of Financial Development Service, the People’s Government of Shenzhen Municipality (OFDS) last week to “keep abreast of the applications and latest developments of fintech in Shenzhen.” The meeting was also an opportunity to exchange views on the co-operation among banks and financial institutions in the two cities. While in Shenzen, Chan visited two Fintech firms – Webank and Ping An Technology.

During the exchange, the HKMA and the OFDS agreed to strengthen co-operation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, with a view to creating a more favorable environment for the development and use of Fintech by banks and other financial institutions.

Chan said that Hong Kong and Shenzhen have their respective applications of Fintech and Hong Kong has a significant presence of financial institutions from around the world. The combination of corporates and “efficient financial infrastructure” provides a sound base for Fintech development.

“As for Shenzhen, outstanding technology companies and talents both at home and abroad have been drawn to the city. Through strengthening bilateral co-operation, Hong Kong and Shenzhen can complement each other and bring about mutual benefits,” stated Chen.

He Xiaojun, Director-General of the OFDS, said the arrangement will deepen the bilateral exchange and the implementation of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area development strategy.

“Co-operation between the two cities will create mutual benefits and strong synergies, adding new impetus to the Bay Area. It will also signify an important step for the Bay Area to develop into an international Fintech centre.”

During this exchange, the HKMA and the OFDS agreed to strengthen co-operation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, with a view to creating a more favorable environment for the development and use of fintech by banks and other financial institutions. Co-operative initiatives include the following:

  • The OFDS accepts the HKMA’s invitation to take part in the Fintech Summit scheduled in Hong Kong in the second half of 2017, to promote the exchange and co-operation between fintech stakeholders in Hong Kong and the Mainland;
  • The OFDS accepts the HKMA invitation to take part in organizing a major fintech competition to provide a platform for fintech firms around the world to compete on innovative concepts and products, so as to encourage innovation and raise industry standards. Details of the competition will be announced later this year;
  • The HKMA will join hands with its strategic partners in Hong Kong, including the Hong Kong Science Park and Invest Hong Kong, with a view to providing assistance to fintech firms in Shenzhen in expanding their business in Hong Kong. Similarly, the OFDS will also provide appropriate support to Hong Kong’s fintech firms in their establishment of a presence and developments in Shenzhen;
  • The HKMA and the OFDS will line up major fintech firms in Shenzhen in offering internship positions for students in tertiary education institutions in Hong Kong. At present, Shenzhen’s Webank and Ping An Technology have already indicated their interests in supporting this initiative.

While Hong Kong remains a global financial center its relevance in financial innovation has dimmed as it has moved slowly to embrace change and to create a regulatory environment that fosters sector growth. Today, most industry followers view Singapore and the UK as the two dominant Fintech hubs.

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