A FinTech-enabled Future: The Road to Smart Banking in Hong Kong

17 Jan 2020

As one of the three key missions, the FSDC undertakes initiatives with an aim to enhancing the core competence and professional knowledge of our practitioners in the financial services industry. We organise a range of events, such as the FSDC Career Day and Practitioner Speakers Series, to engage with tertiary students, and through which to gain a better understanding of our youth’s interests. From our recent interaction with them, the development of FinTech and its implications to their career has arguably garnered the most attention among students.

FinTech, the application of information technology to the provision of financial services, has been revolutionizing and transforming the industry, and presents the Hong Kong financial services industry with vibrancy, opportunities and challenges. In this regard, the FSDC has so far published three research reports with practical recommendations, covering a range of topics including the use of distributed ledger technology, developing the digital ID and KYC utilities, and others.

Much has evolved since the publication of our reports, and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s (HKMA) granting of eight virtual bank licenses in 2019 is certainly one of the highlights. Excitingly, through participating in the HKMA Fintech Supervisory Sandbox, the first virtual bank in Hong Kong has started its trial operation by offering banking services to selected retail banking users in December 2019.1 By offering a new kind of customer experience, the presence of virtual banks should add another element to Hong Kong’s strengths as a leading international financial centre.

Hong Kong, with a vibrant financial sector that represents 19.7% of its GDP 2 and employs 284,000 people or 7.4% of the workforce 3, is positioned to gain from the advancement of FinTech, including the rollout of virtual banks. Considering the importance of the topic, the FSDC has prepared a special video series to help tertiary students and financial practitioners keep pace with relevant developments. Specifically, we invited experts from the fields of virtual and traditional banks, academia, and management consulting firms to give their take on the emergence of virtual banks, which should provide a multi-faceted view of the topic.

Entitled "The Road to Smart Banking: Virtual Banks in Hong Kong", this mini knowledge-sharing digital course has also been posted on the FSDC LinkedIn page and FSDC Twitter page. Check it out and follow our pages to keep abreast of our many new initiatives happening in town.

Stay connected with us, and enjoy the digital ride! May the coming Year of the Rat bring you wealth and surplus.


Stephen Wong
Board Member; Human Capital Committee Convenor

Joe Ngai
Board Member

Christopher Hui
Executive Director

Financial Services Development Council



1 Hong Kong Monetary Authority (December 2019) A Brand New Experience with Virtual Banks

According to Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics, January 2020, by Census and Statistics Department HKSAR. Figure as of 2018,

3 According to Quarterly Report on General Household Survey, July to September 2019, by Census and Statistics Department HKSAR. As of Q3 2019, the financing and insurance industry employed 284,000 individuals,

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