Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited (“Standard Chartered Hong Kong”) today announces that it intends to apply for the virtual banking license as part of advancing financial inclusion, fintech innovation and client experience in Hong Kong.

The Bank has set up a task force to study the details of the revised guidelines on the authorization of virtual banks as set out by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

Mary Huen, Chief Executive Officer, Hong Kong said, “We are supporting a new era in smart banking that will help clients better understand their financial position and how to achieve their financial goals. We are developing our virtual bank with innovation and client needs in mind so that their banking experiences cater to their digital lives. As a note-issuing bank in Hong Kong and a bank of almost 160 years’ history, we are committed to promoting financial inclusion and Hong Kong as an international financial centre. We are proud to take this important step for the development of smart banking in Hong Kong by announcing our intent to apply for a virtual bank licence.”

Samir Subberwal, Regional Head, Retail Banking, Greater China and North Asia, said, “Technology is at the heart of our bank’s strategy and we have embarked on a journey to take a step beyond and go truly digital. In this journey, we have placed the client at the epicentre of all we do. We have talked to clients and we started with the realities of Hong Kongers’ lives. People do not want another account with a different brand, they want their financial lives simplified. That is why we believe that the launch of a virtual bank will give clients the choice of going completely digital for their everyday banking needs. Standard Chartered has been and will continue investing in technology that focuses on distinguished full digital experiences.”

The Bank’s task force for virtual banking expects to work closely with the HKMA for virtual banking authorisation as it looks to support financial inclusion, offer improved customer experiences, as well as advance fintech and innovation in Hong Kong.

To promote innovation and to tap into emerging financial technologies for better products and client services, Standard Chartered Hong Kong launched its eXellerator Lab in April. The eXellerator is a collaboration space where multi-disciplinary teams come together to look at problems through clients’ lens.