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|Issue #115 (Nov - Dec 2020)
Against a backdrop of unprecedented developments caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical tensions and a pivot to digital technologies, the HKIB Annual Banking Conference “Innovation and Transformation: A Brave New World of Banking," featured thought-provoking ideas and insights on the latest phase of developments revolutionising Hong Kong’s banking sector. Now in its 12th iteration, putting participants’ health and safety first, the hybrid conference enabled attendees to attend in-person or virtually to listen to a series of presentations, speeches and interactive panel discussions that delved deeply into the most pertinent issues relevant to the banking industry.
Strong Fundamentals Underpin Hong Kong’s Role as an International Financial Center
As Hong Kong adjusts to both internal and external challenges, mainly created by US-China geopolitical tensions and disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Christopher HUI JP, Hong Kong Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, believes that opportunities are unfolding that represent a new chapter for the city. During an interview with Banking Today, Mr Hui outlined how Hong Kong is developing an expanding suite of green products and services and ideally positioned to adapt and evolve to explore new financial frontiers as the regional and international financial hub and the gateway.
The Greater Bay Area: Prospects for Wealth Management Connect and the RMB
Any current assessment of the Greater Bay Area’s (GBA) prospects needs to take full account of the impact of COVID-19. While the virus has been responsible for countless halted projects and cancelled events, it has also had the effect of accelerating some trends, such as digitalisation, video conferencing and remote working.
Decoding What’s Next for Bancassurance in Asia
Bancassurance, the sale of retail insurance products to a bank's client base, is one of the largest and fastest-growing distribution channels for insurance sales in Asia. While the different models drive profitability, product design and operational challenges, the proliferation of COVID-19 has brought unprecedented large scale disruption and complexities at a time when customers are looking for more simplicity and a seamless customer journey.
Open to Change
Hong Kong and the wider world are becoming increasingly digitised, a transformation which has noticeably accelerated since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This increased use of technology is having a profound effect on Hong Kong's banking and finance landscape. One major route into this new and more connected world, is the use of open banking or Open Application Programming Interface (API), a construct that exists to share data when coding software platforms and an interface for a safe and secure means of sharing data.
Are You Still Under Control?
Under the “new normal”, boards – especially audit (and risk) committees – face new demands and hazards as they make sure that effective risk management and controls remain in place. And, as always, banks need to keep an extra eye on the regulators and their next moves in making sure boards have adapted their oversight to the new risk environment. So what should boards and committees do in response? And how can you convince regulators that you’ve responded in the right way?