Virtual banking in Hong Kong and China
On 6 February 2018, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (“HKMA”) published a revised Guideline on Authorization of Virtual Banks (“Guideline”). The Guideline sets out principles that the HKMA will consider when deciding whether to authorise virtual banks to conduct banking business in Hong Kong. The announcement ties into the HKMA’s stated goal of bringing Hong Kong into a new era of smart banking, as part of a package of initiatives. This is evident from the “welcome” to virtual banks in the Guideline. The public consultation will last until 15 March 2018 and the HKMA will take into account the comments received during this consultation in order to issue a revised guideline in May 2018. Meanwhile, the HKMA is receiving applications for the authorisation of virtual banks.