Hong Kong issues online banking licences to StanChart JV, two others

HONG KONG, March 27 (Reuters) - Hong Kong's banking regulator said on Wednesday it had issued online-only banking licences to three companies, including joint ventures of Standard Chartered and BOC Hong Kong.

StanChart will own 65.1 percent in SC Digital Solutions Ltd joint venture, while the remaining will be owned by Hong Kong-based telecoms groups PCCW Ltd and HKT, as well as Ctrip Financial, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) said.

Two other licences have been awarded to majority-owned joint ventures of BOC Hong Kong, a unit of Bank of China, and ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance, the regulator said.

The new licences will give the lenders access to a lucrative banking market, but one where many consumers are unhappy with their current options.

According to research from Accenture, just 43 percent of people living in Hong Kong have a positive experience when visiting their bank branch, versus a global average of 57 percent. (Reporting by Alun John, Sumeet Chatterjee and Holly Chik, Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Himani Sarkar)