(Yicai Global) June 11 -- The Hong Kong unit of British lender Standard Chartered plans to apply for a virtual banking license as it looks to promote fintech and financial inclusion to improve the customer experience.
Standard Chartered Hong Kong has set up a working group to study revised guidelines on the authorization of virtual banks as laid out by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, it said in a statement today. The firm will be one of more than 50 to have expressed interest in virtual banking since the regulator began pushing the practice in September.
The HKMA published an amended version of its virtual bank rules on May 30. It defines virtual banks as those which provide retail banking services through the internet or other electronic channels rather than physical branches. Banks, financial institutions and fintech companies are all eligible to apply for the license.
""We are supporting a new era in smart banking that will help clients better understand their financial position and how to achieve their financial goals," said Mary Huen, chief executive officer at the lender's Hong Kong arm.
Standard Chartered set up a fintech innovation center, the Exellerator, in April in order to promote financial technology. The hub is a shared workspace open to bank staff, startups and clients, and allows them to participate in the development of fintech solutions.
Editor: James Boynton