Supported by 11 banks and nine universities, the Fintech Career Accelerator Scheme (FCAS) was launched last week to meet the growing needs of fintech in Hong Kong, according to an HKMA statement.
“We must nurture sufficient local talents in the long-term to ensure that the development of the fintech ecosystem is sustainable,” Norman Chan, HKMA’s chief executive, says in the statement.
The programme has around 70 openings offered by the 11 participating banks. The internship period will start during the summer next year for a period of six months or one year, and will include projects in cybersecurity, distributed ledger technology, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, biometric authentication, mobile app development and others.
|Participating banks||Participating Univesities|
|Bank of China (Hong Kong)||City University of Hong Kong|
|Bank of Communications Hong Kong Branch||Hong Kong Baptist University|
|The Bank of East Asia||Hong Kong Shue Yan University|
|BNP Paribas Hong Kong||Lingnan University|
|Citibank (Hong Kong)||The Chinese University of Hong Kong|
|DBS Bank (Hong Kong)||The Hong Kong Polytechnic University|
|Hang Seng Bank||The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology|
|HSBC||The Open University of Hong Kong|
|ICBC (Asia)||The University of Hong Kong|
|Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong)|
|Wing Lung Bank|
Source: Hong Kong Monetary Authority
An information day for interested students has been scheduled on 21 January, while applications have started on Saturday and will close on 4 February.
Besides fintech, wealth managers and private banks in the special administrative region (SAR) are also targeting students. According to Hong Kong’s Private Wealth Management Association, it has developed a proposal for an apprenticeship programme aimed at attracting university students.
HK-Singapore fintech rivalry
Hong Kong and Singapore regulators are in a rivalry to make their home jurisdictions the most favourable for fintech investments, our sister publication FSA has previously reported.
Regulators are moving at uncharacteristic speed, signing cross-border fintech agreements as well as creating “sandboxes” and innovation hubs.
Earlier this month, the HKMA signed a cooperation agreement with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority to promote fintech innovation.
The HKMA also set up a fintech innovation hub and a supervisory sandbox, which allows banks to experiment with fintech solutions without full compliance.
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) also established a fintech contact point and set up an advisory group in March this year.
Meanwhile, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) signed separate fintech cooperation agreements with Korea, India, UK and Australia this year. It also opened a fintech lab in August.
However, Hong Kong has better access to capital than Singapore and is expected to reap benefits from China’s fintech rollout, according to Mathias Helleu, chairman and co-founder of Hong Kong-based 8 Securities.
As of end-July, Hong Kong attracted nearly five times more fintech investment ($165m) than Singapore ($35m), according to an Accenture study.