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A top Hong Kong official said that developing its financial technology environment could further push the city’s position as a global financial hub.
Financial technology will play a pivotal role in bolstering Hong Kong’s status as a critical player in the financial world.
Hong Kong’s financial services and the treasury secretary Christopher Hui said that the city needs to nurture its fintech ecosystem’s growth. Hui explained that funding, talent, and regulations are the key elements to further developing the city’s fintech.
Hui added that the Hong Kong government is considering measures on these three key elements to increase the size of its fintech environment.
Many analysts see fintech as an emerging technology that could potentially revolutionize the financial sector. For Hong Kong, fintech can serve as leverage to remain a global leader in the financial industry.
More Subsidies for Fintech
In July, Hong Kong took steps to put more funding on fintech through a wage subsidy. Hui said that the city started a wage subsidy plan worth $15.5 million to entice financial firms to hire more fintech professionals.
The scheme is dubbed the FinTech Anti-epidemic Scheme for Talent Development (FAST). Hui explained that Hong Kong’s goal is to hire 1,000 fintech professionals within one year. Under FAST, the city government will shoulder the salary of one full-time new hire fintech professional. The new hire will receive monthly compensation of $1,290 for 12 months.
Enriching the Talent Pool
Hui explained that the new scheme is part of the government’s effort to create new jobs in the fintech sector. It also aims to boost the city’s talent pool of fintech professionals. The amount might not be that high, but it can encourage financial firms to hire more fintech professionals.
He said that FAST is part of the government’s Anti-epidemic Fund, an initiative that targets to create around 30,000 jobs in the next 24 months. It is the government’s response to the city’s worst unemployment rate in 15 years. Statistics showed that the unemployment rate from March to May hit 5.9%. The unemployment rate among 15 to 25 years olds is the most severe, with 18.2%.
Adoption of Key Applications
Hui said that the government is urging financial companies to expedite the adoption of crucial fintech applications. It is making an effort to match financial services firms and fintech start-ups to embrace fintech applications.
Recently, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority authorized eight virtual banks to offer retail banking services online and other electronic channels.