Regulating FinTech Innovation: A Balancing Act (1 April 2015)

The University of Hong Kong
Asian Institute of International Financial Law

RGC Theme-based Research Scheme Project:
“Enhancing Hong Kong’s Future as a Leading International Financial Centre”

FinTech Hong Kong

Seminar

Regulating FinTech Innovation:
A Balancing Act

Click here to view the Seminar

A paper from the Seminar is available.  Please download from here.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015
12:30 – 1:30 pm
Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower
The University of Hong Kong

Within an ever more digital economy, the speed at which innovation is rolled out is increasing. The financial industry is one of the most recent sectors to witness a wave of new technology being applied and delivered to retail and institutional clients. Intermediating or managing money is an activity that is of particular importance to consumers, regulators and politicians alike. As a result, the emergence of a financial sector which increasingly uses technology to provide products and services to retail as well as institutional clients will necessarily attract certain forms of regulation or guidelines.

This Seminar initiated a reflection regarding the extent to which innovation within the Financial Technology (FinTech) sector can and should be regulated. The case was illustrated with examples of the UK and EU market (e.g. the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)’s Project ‘Innovate’ and the European Commission’s Single European Payment Area (SEPA)) and the implications for innovation will be discussed. This was complemented by introducing an Asian perspective as to the capacity of specific jurisdictions to frame and catalyse innovation, focusing on specific challenges and opportunities in Mainland China and Hong Kong.

The speakers discussed:

  • Can regulators innovate? Recent developments from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • Pro-active or re-Active regulation of innovation: Where is the threshold?
  • The regulatory add-value of the FinTech sector: the benefit of data transparency
  • Challenges and opportunities for FinTech innovation in Mainland China
  • Hong Kong’s role as an emerging regional FinTech hub

Speakers:

Janos Barberis is a Research Fellow of the Asian Institute of International Financial Law at the University of Hong Kong. He was previously involved in the establishment of a new retail bank in the United Kingdom. He now supports the development of Hong Kong as a leading FinTech hub. Janos produced Hong Kong’s first FinTech report and is the founder of FinTech.HK.

Professor Douglas W. Arner is a Professor in the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong and Project Coordinator of a major five-year project funded by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council Theme-based Research Scheme on “Enhancing Hong Kong’s Future as a Leading International Financial Centre”. He works with the Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and other international organisations on issues relating to financial regulation and development and is a member of the Hong Kong Financial Services Development Council.