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Singapore Ranks Third In Open Banking Index

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Investment Banking News, Market Commentary, News

Singapore ranks third on EY’s Open Banking Opportunity index, partially driven by proactive efforts by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to progress open banking since 2016. It ranks behind China, but ahead of Hong Kong.

«The regulator has taken an innovative and collaborative approach in the way it works with the industry and other markets in the region. This balanced approach helps Singapore banks to advance significantly in this space, and encourages an innovative environment for adoption to take root naturally through co-creation without a mandated system seen in other markets,» said Andrew Gilder, EY Asia-Pacific Banking and Capital Markets Sector Leader, in a recent report.

China and Hong Kong

Open banking is thriving in China, driven by an innovation-focused economy and the world’s most digitally connected consumers. The country’s voluntary approach to regulation and demand from its fast-expanding, digitally connected middle class, rank it number 2 in the Open Banking Opportunity Index.

Hong Kong has huge Open Banking adoption potential given its digitally-active population. However FinTech innovation in the market is lagging, keeping it at sixth place in the Index.

«However open APIs, combined with other recent initiatives announced by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority such as virtual banking licences and a faster payments system, may be the catalysts that transform the market,» EY said in its report.

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HSBC Unveils Digibank Project

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in News


After a leak earlier this year, HSBC has given the first public hearing surrounding its digital-only banking initiative known as Project Icebergs. A leak late last year revealed that the bank was reportedly building a stand-alone digital bank, similar to NAB’s UBank, specifically for business customers in order to fend off competition from challenger banks. The group managing director and group chief operating officer for HSBC, Andy Maguire, told delegates at the Money 20/20 conference that HSBC wanted to offer innovation for its customers.

“HSBC is a commercial bank, that’s what we started as. We really wanted to re-imagine how we work but not in a way that was unrecognisable,” he said. Mr Maguire said that commercial banking was complicated and the bank did not want to just offer a simplified digital bank solution. “Commercial banking is complicated and you can’t just make everything the way you like. We wish you could but we have to work within the rules,” he said.

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Climate Change Presents Significant Risk to Australian Economy

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Market Commentary, News


The Reserve Bank of Australia has stated that climate change presents significant risks and opportunities for Australia’s economy. Deputy governor of the RBA Guy Debelle said that, traditionally, climate change was only seen to impact agriculture, but it was no longer the case. “Agriculture is the prism through which we have historically thought about the effect of climate on the economy.

“Today, climate change presents significant risks and opportunities for a broader part of the economy than agriculture, though the impact on agriculture continues to be significant,” he said. Mr Debelle said that there was bound to be significant volatility around the outcome of climate change and the economy would need to adapt to that. “The trend changes [for climate change] aren’t likely to be smooth. There is likely to be volatility around the trend, with the potential for damaging outcomes from spikes above the trend,” he said.

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ASIC Given Extra Powers Under New Proposal

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Market Commentary, News


The corporate regulator will have more powers to hold financial services industries to account for misconduct under a new government proposal. The consultation is in response to Recommendation 1.15 of the Hayne commission’s final report to enhance the current approved codes framework in the Corporations Act 2001, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said in a statement. The report noted that “there must be adequate means to identify, correct and prevent systemic failures in applying the code”, and that “in order to do that, some provisions of the codes should be picked up and applied as law”.

The government also said it would amend the law to allow:

  • ASIC to approve codes for a wider range of entities than currently possible;
  • ASIC-approved codes to include ‘enforceable code provisions’, contravention of which constitutes a breach of the law and with remedies modelled on those in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010; and
  • ASIC to take into account whether particular provisions of an industry code have been designated as enforceable code provisions in determining whether to approve a code.

Mr Frydenberg said that through these changes, it will also be made clear that certain promises made in codes are enforceable against financial services firms by consumers.

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Hong Kong Defends Its Position As a Leading Financial Centre

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Market Commentary, News

Brink Asia

Virtual banking and open data might sound like mere buzzwords in most parts of the world, but in Hong Kong, they are becoming a reality. Over the past few years, Hong Kong has embarked on a journey of digital transformation in the financial services sector to safeguard its role as a leading global financial centre. It is a trendsetter and an example for other cities in the region to follow, especially when it comes to government support in creating the right regulatory ecosystem for digital transformation. But the transformation journey is not without risk.

The financial services industry accounted for a fifth of Hong Kong’s economy in 2017. To transform into a digital financial centre, financial services players in the city must fully embrace fintech, not only to effectively lower costs, but also to achieve better customer satisfaction. As fintech has great potential to enhance financial sector productivity and, consequently, boost the economy, private investment has been pouring into this space since 2015, growing annually at 127 percent during 2015-2017—higher than the global average. Investments have been made in payments and lending, as well as in other areas, such as data and security, remittances and insurance, thereby creating a more balanced ecosystem.

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