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.
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)
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)
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)
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.
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)
'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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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)
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)
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.