Asia-Pacific Financial Services Insights - November 2019

Asia-Pacific Financial Services Insights - November 2019
Asia-Pacific Financial Services Insights - November 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 across the Asia-Pacific financial services sector, including those related to the ever-changing regulatory landscape.

In November, customer care and digital banking were common themes across APAC. Singapore aspires to become an Asian digital banking hub, while in Hong Kong investors show they still have an appetite for the city; China addresses banks deemed to be high risk; and Japan and Australia address the impact on insurers caused by catastrophic typhoons and brushfires respectively.


Open banking: An enabler in the race to relevance in the digital age

Customers in Asia are moving their relationship from traditional banks to digital wallets and other mobile payment solution providers for daily transactions, as new players have proved that they are trustworthy and reliable.

(Techwire Asia, 07/11/2019)

How Asian banks are revolutionizing the customer onboarding process

According to recent research, post 2010 the Asian banking markets have demonstrated continuous and consistent growth as compared to their counterparts in US & Europe. Furthermore, Asian banks are developing digital capabilities and leveraging them in onboarding customers more effectively to create happier customer journeys from the outset. 

(Finextra, 26/11/2019)

Hong Kong

Hong Kong steps up research into central bank digital currency

The HKMA has revealed it has signed a blockchain collaboration with a subsidiary of the Institute of Digital Currency at the People’s Bank of China. The research project includes a proof-of-concept study on token-based CBDC, research into debt securities issuance using blockchain and more.

(Coin Telegraph, 07/11/2019)

Hong Kong-based investors still show appetite for investment in the city

Most Hong Kong-based investors are maintaining a positive investment appetite for 2020 despite a challenging local market including an economic slowdown and social unrest, property consultant Colliers International said on Wednesday.

(The Business Times, 29/11/2019)


Singapore wants to become an Asian hub for digital banks

Singapore wants to become a regional hub for technology firms with advanced data expertise. Doing so would improve banking services in Singapore and in other parts of South-east Asia, according to Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

(Strait Times, 08/11/2019)

The MAS to restart centralised know-your-customer project

The Monetary Authority of Singapore will restart its effort to launch a centralised electronic know-your-customer project and will also launch the Bank for International Settlements' innovation hub in Singapore. This hub will work on setting up a framework for public digital infrastructures on identity, consent and data sharing. 

(Strait Times, 13/11/2019)


China central bank injects 200 billion yuan to boost liquidity, keeps rate unchanged

Fund injection via MLF loans was to make up for the shortfall in liquidity even after multiple reserve requirement ratio (RRR) cuts. Several traders also said that the cash injection was likely a response to tighter liquidity in the interbank market which pushed up borrowing costs.

(Reuters, 15/11/2019)

Over 13% of China’s banks are highly risky, Central Bank says

While foreign and private banks are seen as relatively safe, some medium- and small-sized financial institutions received poor ratings because of the slowing economy, with small lenders more sensitive to swings in the economy. Last year review found about only 10% were deemed high risk, though that calculation didn’t include many consumer finance firms.

(Caixin, 26/11/2019)


Japan’s largest insurers take another hit from typhoon losses

The destructive typhoons and flooding endured by Japan have driven damage claims to drain the emergency reserves held by insurers. Catastrophe reserves held by Japan's three property insurers are expected to total about 385 billion yen (US$ 3.54 billion) at the end of March 2020, down by half from two years earlier. 

(Asian Review, 20/11/2019)

Japan government banks to aid firms to prepare for overseas downturn

Japan will provide financing to the nation’s companies for overseas investment to help them diversify production to fend off a possible downturn overseas. To prepare for the case of downside economic risks from overseas becoming apparent, the policy will stimulate investment for growth by supporting Japanese companies’ overseas development through the overhaul of their global value chains.

(Reuters, 28/11/2019)


The Insurance Council of Australia extends catastrophe declaration

The expanded catastrophe declaration in the New South Wales mid-north coast now includes the two Queensland communities. The announcement comes after a rapid increase in claims from the catastrophic bushfires in NSW and Queensland, with insurers receiving 450 claims, amounting to some $50 million in insured losses.

(Insurance Business, 14/11/2019)

Is 2020 the year the RBA unleashes quantitative easing?

Tax cuts and cash rate cuts may have dominated the press in 2019, but talk is now turning to quantitative easing. In perhaps one of the most anticipated RBA speeches in recent years, RBA Governor Phillip Lowe, outlined how quantitative easing would be applied to Australia’s economy. 

(, 27/11/2019)


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