Government, financial institutions and entrepreneurs are collaborating to make Hong Kong a breeding ground for fintech start-ups.
With the support of Hong Kong's government, financial services enterprises and tech entrepreneurs are making bold moves — and investing significant sums — to establish a firm foothold in the financial technology (fintech) space.
Fintech is revolutionising the business of banking and customers' relationships with financial institutions. Hong Kong's government highlighted fintech as a key focus and set out to promote its development to establish Hong Kong as a hub for the application of cutting-edge fintech.
Hong Kong's financial regulators have spearheaded a range of initiatives to foster fintech. One remarkable undertaking is the Hong Kong Monetary Authority's (HKMA) Fintech Supervisory Sandbox, allowing banks and their partnering fintech firms (including start-ups) to jointly develop and test new models, products and technologies. Recently, HKMA has announced their plan to upgrade their Fintech Supervisory Sandbox with new features, alongside the launch of similar sandboxes by the Securities and Futures Commission and the Insurance Authority to facilitate financial innovation. HKMA has also partnered with the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute in establishing a Fintech Innovation Hub and a talent-nurturing Fintech Career Accelerator Scheme.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and regulators are also busy forging new collaborations with counterparts in other fintech hubs. In September, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom signed the Fintech Bridge Agreement, covering government-to-government (G2G), regulator-to-regulator (R2R) and industry-to-industry (I2I) co-operation. This agreement will provide a solid framework for fintech firms on both sides to use the facilities and assistance available to explore business opportunities in each other's jurisdictions.