SFST's speech at FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific Demo Day (English only)

     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Christopher Hui, at the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific Demo Day held online today (November 18):
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     Good afternoon. It is my pleasure to join the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific Demo Day. Today is the grand finale of the 12-week programme organised by Accenture and Cyberport, providing fintech start-ups with mentorship from leading financial institutions to help them fine-tune and scale their businesses. I wish to congratulate the 11 fintech finalists for completing their journey today. I am sure your hard work will pay off, not only to your own accomplishments, but also to the development of our fintech ecosystem.
     To foster fintech development in Hong Kong, the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau has recently announced a three-pronged strategy covering opening up of data, policy co-ordination and skill enhancement.
     First of all, data are indeed precious assets in a new era where financial development is driven by technology. In this regard, the Chief Executive mentioned in her Policy Address this year that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority would develop the Commercial Data Interchange (CDI), through which enterprises could authorise service providers such as payment systems, public bodies or utility companies to furnish banks with data. Banks can then make more accurate predictions about the sales and operation of enterprises, thereby reducing the need for enterprises to provide collateral.
     Opening up of government data and the sharing of such data with financial institutions play a crucial part in the development of the CDI. That's why we are now considering the sharing of data in the Companies Register to the CDI, to make it more convenient for financial institutions to obtain reliable information on registered companies.
     Secondly, integration of technology and finance has introduced new dynamics to our market, and with the sector evolving rapidly under a more competitive international landscape, it is clear that we have entered a new stage of fintech development. New challenges have emerged for policymaking and regulations as a result. To strike a better balance between market development and regulation, a Coordination Group on Implementation of Fintech Initiatives, CGFin, will be established within the Government. This group will holistically review and supervise the development of fintech in Hong Kong, covering the areas of Mainland and overseas co-operation, financial infrastructures, regulatory regimes, cybersecurity, promotion, talent development and other cross-sectoral fintech co-ordination. 
     Data and policy co-ordination aside, we will once again commission Cyberport to launch a training programme for our financial practitioners, to promote better understanding and encourage more application of fintech by the financial services industry. This time eligible participants will be expanded such that more practitioners can join the programme, and learn from the sharing of guest speakers having practical experiences and knowledge in the latest development of regtech, KYC (know your customer), blockchain and cybersecurity, etc. We expect the training programme will benefit up to 1 500 practitioners, and promote more application of fintech in the industry.
     Just now I have shared with you our three-pronged strategy to facilitate fintech development in Hong Kong, and we are confident that the strategy will hit the bull's eye, and together with the industry we will make the best use out of the opportunities offered by fintech.
     Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to express my gratitude to Accenture and Cyberport for organising the Demo Day today, and, of course, for the participation of the fintech companies and our leading financial institutions. I wish you all a successful and rewarding event today and I look forward to seeing what is coming next to our fintech industry. Thank you.

Ends/Thursday, November 18, 2021
Issued at HKT 15:00