Asia-Pacific Financial Services Insights – March 2019

APAC FS Insights: March 2019
Asia-Pacific Financial Services Insights – March 2019

Welcome to the latest edition of Protiviti’s Asia-Pacific Financial Services Insights. In this monthly newsletter, we provide a summary of important developments, including those related to the ever-changing regulatory landscape, across the Asia-Pacific financial services sector.

Transparency, digitalisation and better security are themes highlighted throughout the articles provided below. Examples include the increased pressure across APAC for better data integration for transparency purposes, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority issuing its first batch of Virtual Banking Licenses and the Monetary Authority of Singapore planning to issue new guidelines to increase operational resiliency - just to name a few. 


Regulatory reporting pressure in APAC

APAC banks are advised to focus on ensuring seamless data integration in the face of regulatory calls for ever more granular data. Regulators across APAC continue to step up their pressure on banks to achieve more transparency and consistency.

(Bloomberg, 08/03/2019) 

The huge challenges facing APAC FSIs in digital workforce building

While 60% of tier-one APAC banks and insurance companies will deploy intelligent digital workforce solutions by 2021, these early emerging tech adopters are facing different challenges related to scalability.

(CFC Innovation, 07/03/2019) 

Hong Kong 

BOC(HK) rolls out mainland account opening service for Hong Kong residents

Bank of China (Hong Kong) has launched a new service that will enable residents of Hong Kong to open a personal account in mainland China without leaving the Special Administrative Region. The initiative is aligned with the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

(Verdict, 21/03/2019) 

Hong Kong defends position as leading financial center with public and private support

Hong Kong has embarked on a journey of digital transformation in the financial services sector to safeguard its role as a leading global financial centre. To transform into a digital financial centre, financial services players in the city must fully embrace FinTech, not only to effectively lower costs, but also to achieve better customer satisfaction.

(Brink Asia, 22/03/2019) 

HKMA grants first three virtual bank licenses

The granting of the licenses under the Banking Ordinance has already taken effect, and the three newly licensed virtual banks plan to launch their services within 6-9 months. The remaining five applications are being processed and expect to be granted licenses by the end of year. 

(Computerworldhk, 28/03/2019 ) 


Singapore's Investment Management Association opens startup accelerator

The Investment Management Association of Singapore announced the launch of the Digital Accelerator Programme, an accelerator and mentorship programme aimed at FinTechs to help deliver solutions to address a variety of challenges currently facing the investment management industry. 

(Finextra, 04/03/2019) 

Singapore proposes new security guidelines to beef up financial resilience

The Monetary Authority of Singapore is looking to introduce changes to existing technology risk and business continuity management guidelines that will require financial organisations to implement more measures, including cyber surveillance, to boost operational resilience. 

(ZD Net, 07/03/2019) 

Singapore slapped with US$12.47m in penalties in last 18 months

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has slapped a combined US$12.47m (S$16.8m) in financial penalties and compositions across 42 financial institutions as part of the agency’s enforcement actions between July 2017 and December 2018. 

(Banking Finance, 21/03/2019) 


China's first digital bank, WeBank, introduced the '3O' Paradigm of open banking at Money 20/20 Asia

Henry Ma, Vice President and Chief Information Officer of WeBank, showed Money 20/20 audiences a future world of 'Open Banking' and introduced the '3O' Paradigm of open banking services, as well as corresponding approaches for tackling the challenges involved. 

(PR Newswire, 21/03/2019) 

ING and Bank of Beijing create digital bank in China

Bank of Beijing and ING originally formed an alliance in 2015 and are now working together to set up a new digital bank in China. 

(BankingTech. 26/03/2019) 


Japanese banks unite to launch DLT finance platform services

Five Japanese banks have collaborated to launch a financial services infrastructure based on distributed ledger technology. Bank of Iwate, Bank of Yokohama, Aomori Bank, Akita Bank and Yamanashi Chuo Bank will work together on the platform, dubbed "Fitting Hub". 

(Cointelegraph, 06/03/2019) 

Japan boosts money laundering defences

Banks in Japan have been strengthening their money laundering defences ahead of an evaluation from the Financial Action Task Force. MUFG Bank and Mizuho Bank will cease international cash remittances services from around June, whilst Sumitomo Mitsui Bank is also exploring similar steps. 

(Banking Finance, 25/03/2019) 


FinTech investment doubled while Australian banks got hammered

Investment in financial technology start-ups more than doubled last year while Australian banks came under intense public scrutiny for their treatment of customers. Australia saw US$756.7m total investment into the FinTech sector, which is more than 135 per cent up from the previous year’s US$322.3m.

(Yahoo Finance, 07/03/2019) 

APRA proposes amendments to CPG 234 related to information security

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority is proposing the cross-industry Prudential Practice Guide 234 Information Security which will replace the existing CPG 234 Management of Security Risk in Information and Information Technology. 

(Moody's Analytics, 25/03/2019) 

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Jeffery Naquin
Jeffery Naquin
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Raymond Tsui, Protiviti Hong Kong
Raymond Tsui
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