Hong Kong introduces subsidies to help bolster FinTech competitivity


The Hong Kong government is planning to bring in a range of financial incentives to address skill shortages in the FinTech sector.

According to Finextra, a number of industry associations, including the Hong Kong Investment Funds Association as well as a number of lobby groups, have complained that Hong Kong has become uncompetitive as an international financial hub due to a tightening of immigration rules and stringent quarantine measures due to Covid-19.

A recent survey by Google found that over half – 64% – of FinTechs in Hong Kong are facing a ‘severe talent gap’ while 80% of respondents said they would welcome more supportive policies from the government.

Hong Kong financial services and treasury minister Christopher Hui Ching-yu said that planned measures include up to $1.3m in cash subsidies for FinTech proof-of-concepts and an easing of immigration rules for qualified individuals.

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission has said that some NFTs that constitute investment products will have to be regulated.

According to South China Morning Post, the SFC also warned investors of the risks involved with investing in such tokens.

Some NFTs are fractionalised on structured in a way similar to securities or interests in a ‘collective investment scheme’. Those that provide those tokens in Hong Kong or are targeting Hong Kong investors must obtain a licence from the SFC and certain authorisation requirements could also be triggered.

The chairman of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission previously revealed the regulator is looking to adopt global ESG standards to prevent cases of greenwashing.

According to Regulation Asia, SFC chairman Tim Lui stated that the regulator is also scrutinising ESG disclosures by listed companies, with the global ESG standards currently in development.

While the vast range of ESG standards and ratings in the market can sometimes be inconsistent, Lui remarked that there are steps regulators can take to make ESG information more comparable, consistent and decision-useful.

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