The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has posted details of its “Pilot Scheme on Training Subsidy for Fintech Practitioners.”
Hong Kong has long been a top global financial center so the pursuit of FIntech innovation makes a lot of sense. Recently, one measure indicated that Singapore has taken the crown as the top Asian financial center – just edging out Hong Kong to take 3rd place. Hong Kong’s COVID restrictions and other challenges have undermined activity. Singapore has also long pursued innovation in financial services and is a well-known Fintech hub.
The Hong Kong government’s plan is to promote the professional development of Fintech and expand the Fintech talent bench in Hong Kong. The government has allocated funding to reimburse 80% of training costs for approximately 1500 spots for individuals who have achieved Fintech professional qualifications.
The Enhanced Competency Framework on Fintech (ECF-Fintech) for banking practitioners became the first set of Fintech professional qualifications recognized under the Government’s Qualifications Framework (QF). The Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) commissioned the HKMA to implement the Scheme for the banking sector, with assistance from the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers (HKIB).
Following consultation with the FSTB and the industry, the HKMA has finalized the implementation details and officially launched the plan today.
The implementation details of the Scheme are as follows:
- Eligible professional qualifications: These refer to the six professional qualifications under the ECF-Fintech. Details can be found on the Scheme’s webpage.
- Eligible practitioners: Hong Kong residents who are employees of HKMA-licensed Authorized Institutions (AIs) and have obtained one of the eligible professional qualifications under the ECF-Fintech after completing the required training and examinations.
- Subsidy amount: For each eligible professional qualification, 80% of the training costs will be reimbursed, subject to a cap of HK$25,000.
- Subsidy application procedures: AIs must have sponsored their employees to undergo the required training and examinations, and then submit their applications to the HKIB within three months after these employees have attained the relevant professional qualifications. The application procedures and detailed requirements are available on the Scheme’s webpage.
Eddie Yue, Chief Executive of the HKMA, issued the following statement on the plan:
“The Enhanced Competency Framework plays a critical role in raising the professional competence of banking practitioners in Hong Kong. The HKMA is pleased that the ECF-Fintech has become the first set of fintech professional qualifications recognised under the QF, and welcomes the opportunity to implement the Pilot Scheme on Training Subsidy for Fintech Practitioners in collaboration with the FSTB.
“The training subsidies offered under the Scheme will increase the incentive for banking practitioners to pursue professional development in the fintech arena. Coupled with our widely recognised professional qualifications and well-structured professional training under the ECF, this will help nurture more quality-assured fintech professionals in the banking industry to seize the enormous opportunities arising from the digitalisation of financial services.”
The Pilot Scheme on Training Subsidy for Fintech Practitioners has its own website which is available here. Other areas of focus include, artificial intelligence (AI), distributed ledger technology (blockchain), open banking and Regtech.