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December 9, 2016

Financial Conduct Authority opens fintech route to Hong Kong

Move is the latest step designed to ease UK fintech access to markets in Asia.

By James Nunns

The Financial Conduct Authority has taken a step towards easing barriers to fintech firms looking to work in Hong Kong.

A co-operation deal has been signed with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) that aims to boost collaboration between the two regulators, increase innovation, and make it easier for fintechs to cross borders.

The special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China’s deal with the UK regulator is the latest in a long line of collaborations between the FCA and international partners in the region.

The regulator already has collaborative agreements in place with Singapore, South Korea, China and Australia.

China is increasingly being seen as a potential growth avenue for British fintech firms that are looking to spread their wings.

Chancellor Philip Hammond hosted China’s Vice-Premier Ma Kai in November.

Chancellor Philip Hammond hosted China’s Vice-Premier Ma Kai in November.

In November Chancellor Philip Hammond hosted China’s Vice-Premier Ma Kai for trade

talks and there is a growing hope for a “golden era” of relations between the two countries.

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Recent EY research called, ‘China and UK FinTech – Unlocking opportunity,’ looked at the opportunities and challenges faced by fintechs in both China and the UK with regards to them expanding across borders.

One of the biggest challenges is that of regulations.

Deals like the one with the HKMA are key elements that will play an important role in breaking down barriers.

The collaboration between the regulators will see initiatives such as referrals of innovative firms, joint innovation projects, information exchange and experience sharing.

For the UK’s fintechs this provides an opportunity to potentially expand into one of the largest markets in the world. For Hong Kong this is also an opportunity for its fintechs to grow their global footprint, while it is also an opportunity for them to enhance their services.

Shu-Pui Li, Executive Director (Financial Infrastructure) of the HKMA, said: “Collaboration between the HKMA and the FCA will create significant synergy for the two markets by enabling fintech firms and financial institutions to extend their global reach and learn from their foreign counterparts. It will also help to enhance services delivered by financial institutions.”

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