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|Issue #106 (May - Jun 2019)|
International Law and Banking
Society’s common perception on international law is that they are rules to concern the conduct of states. International law in fact started as rules governing conduct in the private sector. From the practice of Mediterranean trade recorded by Roman jurists to the Rules of Oleron in the Middle Ages governing shipping affairs in the Atlantic Ocean, these rules are recognised internationally and are subsequently adopted as domestic law. They have survived to this day under the guises of the commercial laws of all countries.
An Evolving Legacy - Putting Customers First
Diana CESAR, the Chief Executive of HSBC Hong Kong, briefly mention how HSBC utilises new technology to improve their service to customers and the societies, while protecting the integrity of their clients’ assets and data. On the retail banking side, HSBC PayMe has attracted nearly 1.5 million users in Hong Kong since its launch two years ago and the Bank recently launched PayMe for Business, which enables merchants to collect payments instantly via mobile devices. HSBC has also supported local corporates in accessing the green bond market.
Observations on Mainland China’s fiscal and tax policies highlights in 2019
The State Taxation Administration (the SAT) released in early 2019, the《 Opinion Issued by the SAT Regarding Launching the “Spring Breeze Action” in 2019》. On 5 March 2019, the Premier of the State Council delivered China’s Government Work Report at the second session of the 13th National People’s Congress to set forth the key tasks on Mainland China’s government work in 2019. The opinion and report demonstrate the government’s direction of tax reform to alleviate the burdens on market players and to continuously improve the business environment in Mainland China.
Fintech’s Finest Propelling Hong Kong to be a Smart Society
The Hong Kong Institute of Bankers (HKIB) is the leading organiser of the Hong Kong ICT Awards 2019 – FinTech Award for the fourth consecutive year. The winners this year demonstrated how far Fintech has come in Hong Kong and how it is supporting the city to become a smart society. The winners of the FinTech Award 2019 showed remarkable innovation and also the crucial ability to provide platforms and services catered to the local market.
Closing the Gender Gap – Conversation to Action
When it comes to gender diversity, there is more that can be done by the financial industry and Hong Kong in general. A study was commissioned by an informal group of Women Chief Executives in the financial services sector to change the present situation. The survey was conducted by PwC, with the support of The Women’s Foundation. There are incredibly important findings from this report which are specific to Hong Kong. The findings can be shared with other industries and they can take a deep dive through the findings and question whether these issues are present in their organisation.
Mutual Recognition of Funds Arrangements – What do They Bring to the Funds Industry?
The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has entered into Mutual Recognition of Funds arrangements with many jurisdictions and most recently, Luxembourg. Aside from distribution opportunities, the SFC has emphasised their initiatives regarding mutual market access. What the SFC is looking for is the “reciprocal” treatment, i.e. in addition to the SFC in Hong Kong approving funds and investment managers from recognised jurisdictions, these jurisdictions would also recognise Hong Kong domiciled funds and fund managers. If the effort to create mutual market access is successful, funds and fund managers would be attracted to establish in Hong Kong, providing business opportunities to relevant service providers in Hong Kong.