Only one new group clinched Hong Kong's virtual banking licenses last month, signalling the authorities' conservative approach.
Last month, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) awarded three virtual bank licenses, allowing licensees to offer a full range of banking services online without the need to set up any physical branches. However, there was just one new face among the licensees – a joint venture between online insurer Zhong An Online and SinoLink Group. The other two were awarded to joint ventures led by Standard Chartered and Bank of China (Hong Kong).
As a result, financial companies are urging the HKMA to be more flexible when dishing out virtual banking licenses or they would divert resources elsewhere.
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