Asia-Pacific Financial Services Insights - September 2019

Asia-Pacific Financial Services Insights - September 2019
Asia-Pacific Financial Services Insights - September 2019

Surprising hiring trends, digital banking and economic uncertainty | FSI Insights - September 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.

Continued growth across APAC in both global insurance premiums and the digital banking platform market; surprising hiring trends in Hong Kong; Singapore’s initial digital bank initiatives; and economic uncertainty 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 region.


APAC will account for 42% of global insurance premiums by 2029

The Swiss Re Institute predicts that China and APAC will continue to dominate when it comes to global economic growth as well as insurance demand, though the US and Canada, alongside well-developed economies in APAC will come out on top in non-life premium growth.

(Insurance Business 18/09/2019)

Analysis on APAC's US $2.42Bn digital banking platform market, 2019-2027

The Asia-Pacific digital banking platform market is expected to grow from US $732.3M in 2018 to US $2,423.8M by the year 2027. The increasing demand for smartphones will drive the number of digital banking customers, which in turn will boost the growth of digital banking platform market.

(Business Wire, 27/09/2019)

Hong Kong

FATF publishes Mutual Evaluation Report on Hong Kong's AML/CFT regime

Hong Kong’s AML/CFT regime is assessed to be compliant and effective overall, making it the first jurisdiction in the Asia-Pacific region to have achieved an overall compliant result in the current round of FATF evaluation.

(HKMA, 04/09/2019)

Hong Kong's banking hiring holds surprisingly steady, despite unrest

Hong Kong's bank hiring is only slightly down year-on-year, as new jobs in Hong Kong’s virtual banks help to offset cuts in front-office investment banking. This is in contrast to sectors such as retail and tourism, which have cut hiring as businesses reel from the impact of the civil unrest.

(eFinancial Careers, 09/09/2019)

Hong Kong plans to regulate trustees, custodians of funds

Hong Kong securities regulator proposes the direct regulation of companies that look after assets invested in funds and trusts to help strengthen the oversight of the asset management industry.

(Reuters, 27/09/2019)


Singapore's digital bank licence applications: Who are the contenders?

The Monetary Authority of Singapore began accepting applications on 29 August 2019 for Singapore’s first digital bank initiative. Five licences are up for grabs – two for digital full-fledged banks and three for restricted digital banks. Contenders include e-payment/e-wallet start-ups, telcos, existing banks and fintechs.

(The Motley Fool, 04/09/2019)

Singapore retains spot as world's fourth best financial hub

According to a Business Times report, Singapore is in fourth place in the latest ranking of the top financial centres in the world, New York captured the top spot, followed by London in second, and Hong Kong in third.

(Insurance Business, 21/09/2019)


China cuts banks' reserve ratios, frees up US $126Bn for loans as economy slows

China’s central bank said that it was cutting the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves for the third time in 2019 to shore up the flagging economy.

(Reuters, 06/09/2019)

Hong Kong-China 'insurance connect' plan on hold as unrest hits business environment

A proposed new "insurance connect" scheme to allow cross-border sales of insurance products between Hong Kong and mainland China is on hold because of economic uncertainties arising from the trade war and the unprecedented social unrest that has rocked Hong Kong for the last three months.

(Yahoo News, 10/09/2019)


Ultralow long rates pose challenge for Bank of Japan policy

The Bank of Japan's policy board met against the backdrop of economic uncertainty that has driven long-term interest rates far below its target, worsening the side effects of its easing framework.

(Japan Times, 16/09/2019)

Bank lobby welcomes BOJ decision not to deepen negative interest rates

Japanese banks welcomed the Bank of Japan’s decision to keep monetary policy steady instead of deepening negative interest rates which could further squeeze banks’ profits.

(Reuters, 19/09/2019)

JFSA publishes English summary of discussion paper, “JFSA’s Approach to Compliance Risk Management”

The primary goal of the Japan Financial Services Authority’s initiative is to enhance compliance risk management in financial institutions by “replacing checklists with engagement.”

(JFSA, 30/09/2019)


Australia is getting a new cybersecurity strategy

The federal government wants an updated strategy to cover the current cyber threat climate to gain a better understanding of the magnitude of the threats faced by Australian businesses and families, saying that as the threat evolves, so too must government's response.

(ZD Net, 06/09/2019)

Central bank governor leaves door open for more rate cuts, A$ rises

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) trimmed interest rates in June and July to a record low of 1%. The RBA board was prepared to ease policy further if needed and that it was likely an extended period of low interest rates will be required in Australia.

(Reuters, 24/09/2019)

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