Asia-Pacific Financial Services Insights - October 2019

Financial Services APAC
Asia-Pacific Financial Services Insights - October 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. 

An increased focus on "green banking" across APAC; impact of continued unrest in Hong Kong; and PayPal's entry to China are just a few topics to hit the news over the last month. Please read on for details on these, and other, articles from across the APAC region.


Can Asia achieve its green finance aspirations?

Interest in green financing is picking up in Asia, as investors consider it good for both yields and ethical reasons. Even so, there is plenty of work to be done if the region is to fulfil its ambitions in the sector.

(The Banker, 01/10/2019)

Banking on AI

Financial services organisations that have adopted artificial intelligence are expected to see a 41% improvement in competitiveness within coming three years. More than half (52%) of the financial services organisations in Asia-Pacific have already adopted AI.

(Bangkok Post, 08/10/2019)

Asia-Pacific digital banking platform market to 2027 

The APAC digital banking platform market is expected to grow from US$ 732.3M in 2018 to US$ 2,423.8M by the year 2027, due in part to growing demand for smartphones and other consumer devices both developed and developing countries.

(Yahoo Finance, 28/10/2019)

Hong Kong

HK central bank cuts banks' capital buffer to support economy as protests escalate 

'The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has cut the amount of cash that banks must keep as reserves, releasing an extra HK$ 200-300Bn into the broader economy which has been hit by months-long protests and the Sino-U.S. trade war.

(Reuters, 15/10/2019)

Hong Kong firms, lacking riot insurance, pick up pieces from protest damage

Hong Kong insurers expect a surge in demand for coverage that includes riot damage. Damages from civil unrest and riots, particularly for small and mid-sized firms, are not covered under such insurance schemes and this is a concern for most of the citizens in Hong Kong.

(Reuters, 21/10/2019) 


Singapore central bank eases monetary policy 

The Monetary Authority of Singapore said it would lower slightly the slope of the Singapore dollar's policy band, while the width and centre of the band would not be changed.

(Reuters, 14/10/2019) 

Libra shows banks can do more, says Singapore's top central banker

According to Singapore’s top central banker, Facebook's embattled bid to create its own digital currency has shortcomings in cross-border payments and financial inclusion that banks and regulators must address. Central banks need to answer the challenge posed by Facebook’s attempt to create a faster and more affordable payments network. 

(American Banker, 24/10/2019) 


PayPal to enter China's payment services market

US digital money transfer platform PayPal has obtained Beijing's approval to buy a controlling stake in a domestic payments firm, which would make PayPal the first foreign firm to enter China's payment services market.

(CIO ET, 01/10/2019)

China to ease foreign investments curbs, won't force tech transfers - vice minister 

China will eliminate all restrictions on foreign investments, said a vice commerce minister. Also, China will neither explicitly nor implicitly force foreign investors and companies to transfer technologies.

(Reuters, 29/10/2019) 


Japan banks to undergo stress test to prepare for any crisis 

Japan’s major financial institutions are set to undergo a stress test to prepare for any major shakeout in financial markets in light of worries about a global recession and a protracted Sino-U.S. trade war.

(Reuters, 21/10/2019) 

Bank of Japan keeps policy steady but sends clearer signal of future rate cut 

The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady as expected but offered a stronger signal it may cut interest rates in the future, underscoring its concern that overseas risks could derail the country’s fragile economic recovery.

(Japan Times, 31/10/2019) 


Reserve Bank warns climate change posing increasing risk to financial stability 

The RBA’s financial stability review, concluded that while climate change is not yet a significant threat to financial stability in Australia, it is becoming increasingly important for investors and institutions to actively manage carbon risk.

(The Guardian, 04/10/2019) 

Australia calls for new probe into loan pricing by banks

The Australian government has ordered an investigation into why banks failed to pass three official interest rate cuts this year in full, less than a year after a public inquiry exposed the industry for cheating customers.

(, 13/10/2019)



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