The Hong Kong Institute of Bankers (HKIB) has onboarded six virtual banks as corporate members, according to a Jan. 2 press release.
The HKIB is a non-profit institution that provides training and certification to the banking organizations in Hong Kong. The last banks joining the HKIB are Airstar Bank Limited, Fusion Bank Limited, Livi VB Limited, Ping An OneConnect Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, SC Digital Solutions Limited and WeLab Bank Limited.
New era in Hong Kong’s banking sector
Commenting on the news, Carrie Leung, CEO of the HKIB, said that the launching of virtual banks marked a new era in the development of the banking sector in the region, adding:
“The HKIB now boasts a member base with 103 Corporate Members and Corporate Affiliates, and over 6,000 Individual Members. With the exponential growth in the local Fintech sector, we believe that more virtual banks and Fintech companies will see the importance of joining our community in the years ahead.”
One of the objectives of the HKIB is the promotion of fintech development in Hong Kong by providing training in the fields of cybersecurity, digital banking and related areas. In 2020, the HKIB is planning to continue to promote talent exchange and launch industry initiatives to encourage professionals to participate in fintech training programs, among other goals.
Hong Kong continues to embrace fintech
In November 2019, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a subsidiary of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC). The deal aims to create a Proof-of-Concept for a trade finance platform from Q1 2020, linking two existing projects: the HKMA’s eTradeConnect and the PBoC’s Trade Finance Platform.
That same month, HKMA revealed it was conducting research into applications for a central bank digital currency. The project is being conducted together with Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Ltd. and three further banks, as well as blockchain consortium R3. HKMA reportedly aims to release a major report on its findings in Q1 2020.