10 Key Highlights from Day 1 of Hong Kong Fintech Week

10 Key Highlights from Day 1 of Hong Kong Fintech Week

by November 4, 2021

Hong Kong’s most anticipated fintech event returns for its sixth year as a hybrid event, allowing participants to join the event in person or from the comforts of their own homes. As usual, the Hong Kong Fintech Week is jam-packed with activities, announcements, and insightful conversations.

In case you missed it, here are some key highlights from the first day of the main event.

The launch of AML Regtech Lab 

Eddie Yue, Chief Executive, Hong Kong Monetary Authority

As the next phase to encourage Regtech adoption, the HKMA announced the launch of AMLab series which will be held on 5 November in collaboration with Cyberport. Five banks will work with data experts using synthetic data for the first time to explore the use of digital footprints and conduct more comprehensive network analysis. AMLab will strengthen banks’ capabilities to protect customers from fraud and financial crime losses.


PBOC signals stronger regulatory framework for data collection

PBOC signals stronger regulatory framework for data collection

Mr. Yi Gang, Governor, People’s Bank of China

Mr. Yi of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) committed to stronger oversight for personal data collection in the financial services industry with a “sound legal and regulatory framework”. He called for a more accurate definition of data ownership through international cooperation to achieve universal standards.

SFC proposes joint review of virtual assets with HKMA

SFC proposes joint review of virtual assets with HKMA

Ms. Julia Leung, Deputy Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director, Intermediaries,
Securities and Futures Commission

Ms. Julia Leung pledged the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) would review the fintech hub’s virtual asset regulation following a year of increased online funding activity from SFC-licensed corporations.

Citing the SFC’s latest survey on the sale of investment products in Hong Kong, Leung said virtual assets are here to stay. “Online sales accounted for a fifth of all the funds sold and the number of SFC-licensed corporations selling funds online more than doubled last year,” she said.

FSTB renews commitment to nurture Hong Kong fintech talent

FSTB renews commitment to nurture Hong Kong fintech talent

Mr. Christopher Hui, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Hong Kong SAR and Mr. Lei Zhang, Founder & CEO, Hillhouse Group

The Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau’s (FSTB) Mr. Christopher Hui shared the strategic vision to nurture the fintech ecosystem in Hong Kong, as well as the City’s increasingly important role in the Greater Bay Area. He shared plans to grow the fintech ecosystem through an open data policy, cross-boundary coordination, and risk management, all with the aim of nurturing fintech talent.

Power Talk: Challenges, Opportunities & Everything in Between

Power Talk - Challenges, Opportunities & Everything in Between

The panel discussion was moderated by Mr. Eddie Yue, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, on digital transformation challenges faced by traditional financial firms.

Alibaba’s Mr. Joe Tsai said going direct to customers would foster innovation and a digital transformation culture across company operations. Both fintech and techfin players are in the business of risk management and this makes regulation all the more important, he said.

Sequoia Capital China’s Mr. Neil Shen said the fintech investment landscape is increasingly global and if a product is successful in a certain city or region, it stands a good chance of appealing to an international customer base.

HSBC’s Mr. David Liao challenged the label of “traditional banks” and said it is up to every industry to discover opportunities and find new ways to serve customers through better use of their data. He added that social inequality and the climate crisis would fundamentally alter financial services industry in the years to come.

Hong Kong & the Greater Bay Area as a Digital Finance Hub

Hong Kong & the Greater Bay Area as a Digital Finance Hub

Ms. Enoch Yiu, Chief Reporter, Business of the South China Morning Post moderated a panel discussion on the success of Hong Kong and the GBA in attracting international financial firms. It also looked at why the GBA could be the answer to fintech’s global talent shortage.

FSTB’s Mr. Joseph Chan said training new talent is high on the government agenda. Since Hong Kong will always be the pilot ground for new financial technology, he said the City is in a strong position to create new cross-boundary opportunities for fintech companies in the years to come.

AMTD’s Dr. Calvin Choi said the virtual banking sector is driving partnership and connectivity in Hong Kong and across the region. He called for more creativity to provide a better customer experience and said the AMTD FinTech Centre of PolyU Faculty of Business is accelerating talent development in the fintech hub.

BitRock Capital’s Mr. Alfred Shang said Hong Kong is essential to helping Chinese companies to invest and expand overseas. He anticipates the supply chain and manufacturing industries will see the highest growth of fintech adoption in the Greater Bay Area.

Tencent Holdings and Fusion Bank’s Mr. Jim Lai said the HKMA’s focus on real time and cross-boundary transactions presents an enormous opportunity for virtual banks to bring in more investors from the mainland while giving the northbound access to money market funds.

Citi Keynote: “Citi is committed to serving clients in Hong Kong now and in the future”

Citi Keynote

Ms. Jane Fraser, CEO, Citi

Citi CEO Ms. Jane Fraser shared her perspective on the opportunities ahead and how the bank works with fintechs and other partners in Hong Kong and the region to meet the speed and scale required to serve consumers in this new digital era.

Fintech Proof-of-Concept Subsidy Scheme Showcase

Fintech Proof-of-Concept Subsidy Scheme Showcase

FSTB’s Mr. Christopher Hui moderated a panel session on the benefits of the Fintech Proof-of-Concept Subsidy Scheme. It has accelerated cross-boundary applications of fintech innovation in the banking and insurance services across the Greater Bay Area. Mr. Hui said the scheme is a means to address oncoming regulatory hurdles.

Mr. Gilbert Lee said the programme had enabled Hang Seng Bank to learn about and leverage new technologies, providing the impetus for a “transformative journey” for the bank and other fintech firms.

Retail CBDC: A Lesson from the Fast Movers & the Road Ahead

Retail CBDC

BIS Innovation Hub Centre Hong Kong’s Ms. Bénédicte Nolens, gave an introduction to the strategic priorities guiding central banks in the development of CBDCs around the world.

HKMA’s Mr. Nelson Chow said the eHKD would not be available to retail consumers “any time soon” but assured the audience the Hong Kong Monetary Authority is taking efforts to future-proof against all eventualities.

PBOC’s Mr. Mu Changchun said personal security is the first priority for CBDCs since digital currencies can be a potential target for hackers.

Bank of Russia’s Mr. Olga Skorobogatova said this is an exciting time for world finance because the basic functionality of retail CBDCs are creating a more competitive landscape for financial services.

New Opportunities Under the Wealth Management Connect

New Opportunities Under the Wealth Management Connect

Mr. Joseph Chan hailed the newly launched Wealth Management Connect as a “major breakthrough” for Hong Kong’s financial services industry.

The panelists agreed on the market’s positive response to the scheme and the evident benefits to expanding the choice in investment options for consumers. They acknowledged that demand for RMB products and the inclusion of digital RMB in the Wealth Management Connect scheme will drive the internationalisation of the RMB.