The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has strengthened its focus and commitment to fintech, with the unveiling of ‘Fintech 2025’, its new strategy for driving development in the region. 

As he gave opening remarks during the fintech seminar, organised by the Hong Kong Association of Banks, Eddie Yue, Chief Executive of the HKMA, outlined the new fintech strategy, which aims to encourage the financial sector to adopt technology comprehensively by 2025.

Building on the solid foundation for fintech adoption established by the ‘Smart Banking Era Strategy’ announced in 2017, the HKMA will continue to promote the all-round adoption of fintech by Hong Kong banks and encourage them to fully digitalise their operations, from front-end to back-end. 

To further progress this, the HKMA will roll-out a Tech Baseline Assessment to take stock of banks’ current and planned adoption of fintech in the coming years, something that lands as the digital growth of the sector spikes, with it dealing with the pandemic.

The body also detailed that it aims to future-proof Hong Kong for Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) – as it strengthens research work to increase readiness in issuing CBDCs at both wholesale and retail levels. 

In addition to the continued effort on wholesale CBDCs, the HKMA has been working with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub Hong Kong Centre to research retail CBDCs, and will begin a study on e-HKD to understand its use cases, benefits, and related risks. 

To further ‘unleash Hong Kong’s potential for the next generation of banking’, the HKMA will spearhead the growth of the city’s existing data infrastructure and building new ones, including Commercial Data Interchange, digital corporate identity, and DLT-based credit data-sharing platform, to facilitate consent-based data sharing.

Similar to Europe and the UK, the HKMA is looking to elevate fintech talent, both students and practitioners, through various initiatives. These measures will include development of fintech-specific training programmes and qualifications, as well as the promotion of joint projects between the industry and the academia. 

Yue commented: “Fintech is, without doubt, a key growth engine for the financial industry in the post-pandemic era, and now is the right time to double down on our efforts to grasp the opportunities. “Fintech 2025” sets out our vision in this regard. I urge all stakeholders to join forces with the HKMA. Together, we can take our city’s fintech ecosystem to new heights.”