In The Black
Hong Kong was slow off the fintech starting block, but with government support has made up for lost time. The smart money is on the Greater Bay Area (GBA) initiative, which stands to escalate recent fintech developments. Simon Loong CPA, founder and CEO of WeLab, was one of Hong Kong’s early adopters. He had 15 years in retail banking behind him when he decided to leave Standard Chartered Bank to set up a fintech company in January 2013. “When I told my colleagues that I was starting a fintech company they were shocked: they’d never heard of the term,” Loong recalls.
“Six years on and most banks have fintech products. We’ve really seen the ecosystem develop across different categories of fintech.” In March 2016, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority established a Fintech Facilitation Office (FFO) to help promote fintech in the territory. In February 2018, Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the government would allocate HK$500 million over the next five years to support its financial services industry, including the development of fintech.
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