According to a recent press release, The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) held a high-level Fintech Roundtable in the first week of January 2019.
The Roundtable was attended by about 45 senior representatives from six international organisations and around 30 central banks or regulatory authorities in 18 jurisdictions.
The Roundtable facilitated the exchange of ideas and discussions on current fintech topics which are of mutual interest. It also aimed to strengthen cross-border fintech collaboration among jurisdictions in order to promote innovation and technology adoption that would bring greater convenience, efficiency and security to the public and at the same time ensure financial stability.
Titled “From Mutual Understanding to Global Collaboration”, the Roundtable comprised presentations and panel discussions that covered a range of topics including case studies of cross-border collaborations, open banking, and the use of emerging technologies in providing financial services. Participants discussed issues that merit each other’s attention and shared their experience and insights into these topics.
The Deputy Chief Executive of the HKMA stated that one of the key characteristics of fintech is that it is borderless. As fintech develops, cross-border issues are likely to gain importance.
He noted that it is, therefore, crucial that we deepen mutual understanding and step up global collaboration to ensure a well-functioning financial system.
Today’s Roundtable demonstrates the HKMA’s commitment in this regard.
The Deputy Chief of the HKMA further noted that he was pleased to see the positive outcome of the event and the strong support we received from the participants, noting that The HKMA will continue to foster cross-border fintech collaboration and facilitate the creation of a conducive ecosystem for fintech innovation.
In addition, the HKMA will also host a two-day Financial Stability Board Financial Innovation Network meeting later in the week, immediately after the Roundtable.
Another report on the HKMA noted that the region’s currency board and the de facto central bank is preparing to push the envelope with regards to Hong Kong’s bank culture this year.
This will be done through the introduction of supervisory measures (Supervisory Measures) focused specifically on measuring authorised institutions’ (AI) progress in implementing reforms to their culture.
The Supervisory Measures include requiring AIs to complete and return self-assessment forms regarding their culture to the HKMA, and undertaking on-site reviews focused specifically on culture.
These new measures follow the HKMA’s March 2017 Bank Culture Reform Circular (BCR Circular), which set out a framework for fostering sound bank culture and required AIs to review and enhance their existing governance arrangements by March 2018.
The announcement of the Supervisory Measures clearly indicates that the HKMA remains focused on the culture of Hong Kong banks, and will be closely scrutinising the work undertaken to comply with the BCR Circular, as well as more general culture and conduct reforms.
Importantly, the HKMA has also suggested that further guidance may be forthcoming if it considers that AIs have not done enough to enhance their culture.
It is likely that this will be one of the topics of discussion at the Fintech Roundtable by the HKMA.