Hong Kong regulator grins thanks to financial inclusion wins
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is in a happy mood as the region’s financial inclusion initiatives are progressing well.
Norman Chan, HKMA chief executive, visited three retail bank branches in northern Tin Shui Wai area of Hong Kong today (17 August) to understand the situation of branch services from bank representatives and staff, and chatted with customers to understand their feedback on the newly added banking facilities.
The photos from the visit showed smiling people in a semi-circle talking to Chan, a duo doing thumbs up, and people wearing suits but no ties. All the hallmarks of true happiness and eternal joy.
The HKMA says it is pushing hard on the accessibility of basic banking services for the public, such as residents living in remote areas and public housing estates.
It has been following up and co-ordinating with retail banks. In northern Tin Shui Wai, apart from one existing (and unnamed) bank branch there, all the three new bank branches in today’s visit provide general banking services with some of them also providing a video teller machine and cardless ATM cash withdrawal service, or setting up lower-height bank counters customised for the convenient use of people who are physically challenged.
Chan says: “I commend Bank of East Asia, China Construction Bank (Asia) and Standard Chartered Hong Kong, as well as other retail banks that enhanced services in remote areas earlier, for responding positively to the HKMA’s call for increasing the coverage of physical branch networks to provide basic banking services for the public in remote areas. More retail banks will enhance the services in remote areas in the coming months.”
According to the HKMA, HSBC and Bank of China (Hong Kong) also recently opened a branch and deployed a mobile branch as well as a video teller machine in public housing estates in remote areas.
The HKMA adds that it expects to see more improvements.
On the fair way
Away from grins and genial tours of bank branches, the HKMA has been active.
In July, the HKMA and the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) launched their Fintech Career Accelerator Scheme. The idea is to tap into the juicy veins of young fintech blood.
While in June, fair play fared well with the HKMA and Hong Kong’s Private Wealth Management Association (PWMA) unveiling the “Treat Customers Fairly Charter for Private Wealth Management Industry”.
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