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Hong Kong Fintech Report 2022: HK’s Fintech 2025 Strategy Begins to Take Shape

Hong Kong continues to pursue its fintech ambitions, accelerating efforts related to regtech and central bank digital currency (CBDC). Meanwhile, the city’s eight virtual banks are seeing strong consumer uptake as they continue expanding their product offerings.

Fintech News Hong Kong’s newly released Hong Kong Fintech Report 2022 looks at key developments in the space that occurred in 2021 and share emerging trends to watch out for. In particular, the report delves into three key themes that emerged this year – CBDC, regtech and virtual banking –, gives an overview of the fintech startup landscape and outlines some of the major deals announced this year.

Exploring the prospect of CBDC

2021 saw major initiatives being announced by the Hong Kong Monetary. The Fintech 2025 strategy, unveiled in June, is a fintech development plan focusing on creating a next-generation data infrastructure, expanding the fintech workforce, fostering a favorable regulatory landscape, and researching CBDC.

Hong Kong’s commitment to CBDC is further evidenced by the various projects being conducted by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). These initiatives involve researching cross-border transactions using CBDCs, as well as a retail CBDC.

HKMA is currently contemplating the introduction of a retail CBDC. Research is being conducted in partnership with the Hong Kong Centre of the BIS Innovation Hub on the prospect of issuing a so-called e-HKD for the public.

Fostering regtech adoption

Regtech is another field Hong Kong is looking to become a leader in. On June 31, the HKMA hosted its flagship regtech event, a virtual conference that gathered more than 4,000 participants.

During the event, HKMA chief Eddie Yue unveiled four actions to promote regtech in the banking sector: the introduction of the Regtech Adoption Index, the rollout of a centralized knowledge hub to share regtech information and content, commitment to organizing startup competitions, and the creation of a new regtech skills framework to promote upskilling of banking practitioners.

The inaugural Regtech Adoption Index was also released during the event, outlining the state of regtech adoption in the banking sector. The study shows that although regtech adoption is still at an early stage in Hong Kong, most banks are nevertheless using some form of regtech in their operations and are positive about the potential benefits of regtech.


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