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Tuesday, September 6, 2016, 20:28

HKMA launches fintech innovation hub

By Luo Weiteng

HKMA launches fintech innovation hub
This undated photo shows the Hong Kong Science Park. (Provided to China Daily)

HONG KONG - In a bold move to create a supportive regulatory environment for financial technologies (fintech) to flourish, Hong Kong's de facto central bank launched a fintech innovation hub and a special regulatory regime that allows Hong Kong banks to test out their fintech initiatives on Tuesday.

The Fintech Innovation Hub, launched by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s (HKMA) Fintech Facilitation Office, responds to the markedly growing use of fintech among the city's banking industry.

Located in the Hong Kong Science Park, the hub will house a minimum of 200 workstations alongside virtual private networks connecting users with up to 30 external development laboratories in Hong Kong and overseas.

In a related initiative, the HKMA introduced a regulatory regime known as the "fintech supervisory sandbox", where banks can conduct pilot trials before applying for authorization and formally launching their fintech products or services.

Such a move is in line with similar efforts by regulatory bodies in the UK, Singapore and Australia, ensuring Hong Kong will not lag behind the frontrunners like the Chinese mainland, Singapore and the UK in fintech competition.

The sandbox will be valid as of Sept 6, but a start date hasn't been specified yet.

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