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Deloitte FinTech Forum draws insights into the future of FinTech in Hong Kong

Published: 24 November 2016

Deloitte China today hosted a FinTech Forum, in which regulators, influencers and industry protagonists discussed hot button issues affecting the development of financial technology (FinTech) in Hong Kong.

Over 100 participants, including bankers, regulators, and FinTech executives, attended this Deloitte forum on the theme of "How FinTech shapes the future of Hong Kong – challenges and opportunities? Leaders or followers?”. The event is supported by Cyberport, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation and Authority of Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone of Shenzhen. Guest speaker Mr. Howard Lee, Senior Executive Director of Hong Kong Monetary Authority shared his views on "FinTech for the banking sector". “There is no doubt FinTech is changing the financial landscape, globally, and drastically. It is changing the way as to how we bank and how banks operate. The key is banks need to embrace not just technology, but to embrace changes in their customers' financial management culture in order to stay ahead of the curve, ” he said.

During his keynote speech, Mr. Tim Pagett, Financial Services Industry Leader, Deloitte China, said “Disruption has been a continuing feature of the global market for Financial Services and whilst the advent of the FinTech era would appear to have accelerated this disruption, it has also simultaneously created a raft of opportunities for the market participants, customers and service providers. It is critical for the continued positioning of Hong Kong as a premier financial centre in the region that we embrace these opportunities and to provide incentives and infrastructure for FinTech players to innovate and prioritize the customer and business experience, and to explore opportunities in non-conventional financial products and services. It is critical that we recognise and endorse the important role that government regulation and policy play in supporting this positioning. Through collaboration, incentive and a collective understanding of the risks and benefits to be obtained through fully leveraging digital technologies, we should be well positioned to undertake this exciting journey of exploration in a manner that sees benefits for the economy as a whole. We have a lot of ground to cover in what always appears to be a little time – focusing not just on market benefits but also on the valid concerns of investors and customers.”

The forum included a panel discussion moderated by Mr. Peter Koo, National Leader of IT Advisory Services, Deloitte China, where speakers covered a wide range of topics spanning the role of the Government, regulation, talent and the development of blockchain – a major innovative and emerging technology that is expected to have a significant impact on the financial industry in the coming decades. The panelists included Mr. Nelson Chow, Chief FinTech Officer, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Ms. Bénédicte N. Nolens, Senior Director, Head of Risk and Strategy, Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, Mr. Peter Yeung, Head of ICT, Smart City and Green Technology, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, Dr. Toa Charm, Chief Public Mission Officer of Cyberport, and Dr. Witman Hung, JP, Principal Liaison Officer Authority of Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone of Shenzhen.

Mr. Koo also highlighted digital/smart identification will be a key to open the door of different FinTech applications, which has re-defined the way of identity authentification for individuals or organizations by leveraging technology to streamline the identification process and mitigate any related risk. “There is a pressing need for financial institutions, as well as all industries, to drive the development of digital identity if they are hoping to launch FinTech products or services, such as cryptocurrencies. Without robust digital identity infrastructure, financial institutions will find it difficult to convince customers to use FinTech related products and solutions, ” he said.

Commenting on the challenges faced by FinTech companies, Mr. Koo said “For many FinTech start-ups, the challenges for products and services development can be ample, but the dearth of funding capital can be one of the major hurdles for FinTech start-ups as they seek to further develop and expand their business models.” “Companies can count on external intermediaries, professionals and incubator organizations to get connected with potential angel funds and venture capital investors. But, most importantly, they should ensure they can prove to institutional investors that they can execute and convert their initial business idea into a sophisticated, sustainable and revenue generating model,” he said, noting that there is an expert professional network subsidized by the Hong Kong Government, which has included professionals from different domains and disciplines to assist various FinTech start-ups residing in Hong Kong.

“Cyberport is committed to fostering the development of FinTech in Hong Kong through collaborating with industry partners and leveraging Hong Kong’s advantages as an international financial centre,” said Mr. Herman Lam, Chief Executive Officer of Cyberport. “By collaborating closely with Deloitte, Cyberport look forward to creating synergy to accelerate the growth of FinTech companies and unlock Hong Kong’s potential in FinTech.”

Click to enlarge images

A toasting ceremony was held after Prof. K C Chan gave a speech at the Networking Reception
Prof. K C Chan, Hon. Jeffrey Lam and Hon. Abraham Razack joined our Networking Reception
Our guests and colleagues were enjoying the drinks at the reception
The speakers and panelists gave us an informative sharing at the FinTech Forum
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