Hong Kong enters race to become a FinTech hub: Page 3 of 3
Davy Yun (pictured left), Tax Partner at Deloitte China, warns that “Fintech is now the global trend. Hong Kong will be left behind if it does not start now. As a Fintech hub, Hong Kong will benefit from generating more businesses and activities in electronic clearing and settlement, data analytics and other new modes for the financial services sector.”
Janos Barberis (pictured right), founder of Fintech.HK, agrees with Chu that the timing of the announcement is perfect. Referring to the 2015 Budget Speech by the Hong Kong SAR Financial Secretary John Tsang, he notes that the announcement should make it clear to the investment and the startup communities that Hong Kong is working to make it easier to support the Fintech startup community. He says last mover advantage may actually work in Hong Kong’s favor by giving Hong Kong the advantage to review international best practices (i.e., what London and the US have done).
“Will Hong Kong’s Fintech sector cater for established financial institutions (the London model) or retail solutions (Silicon Valley approach) or both? It is never too late to move especially if Hong Kong as the right vision. The Hong Kong government will learn a lot during this process. Understanding how to create a legal framework that promotes innovations and supports the funding of innovation will be key for Hong Kong and also a model that other countries in the region will look at,” Barberis explains.
He cites the example of the Hong Kong MTR which was built later than the London Undergound but has become a world class system. “Much of the MTR was designed around convenience and efficiency and ease of movement. Platforms are built side-by-side to minimize walking between platforms. So this is great news for Hong Kong,” he concludes.
London, New York and Hong Kong are not alone in their ambitions. Sydney (Australia) stated in October 2014 that it too has similar ambitions and is modelling its Fintech hub ambitions after London’s Level39. In the short term, Sydney’s initial hub ambitions appear to be national in scope.