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Thursday, April 11, 2019, 21:26
Local firm gets fourth virtual banking license in Hong Kong
By Xinhua
Thursday, April 11, 2019, 21:26 By Xinhua

A pedestrian walks past the building housing Hong Kong Monetary Authority's office on Oct 24, 2008. (TED ALJIBE / AFP)

HONG KONG - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has granted its fourth virtual banking license under the Banking Ordinance to a local virtual bank.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority said the introduction of virtual banks is a key pillar supporting Hong Kong’s entry into the smart banking era

The HKMA announced Wednesday it had granted a banking license to Welab Digital Limited (WDL) for it to operate in the form of a virtual bank, and the granting took effect Wednesday.

Pointing out that this is its fourth virtual banking license, the HKMA said the introduction of virtual banks in Hong Kong is a key pillar supporting Hong Kong’s entry into the smart banking era.

READ MORE: HK grants virtual bank licenses in test to traditional lenders

“It is a major milestone in reinforcing Hong Kong’s position as a premier international financial center. Virtual banks will not only help drive FinTech and innovation, but also bring about brand new customer experiences and further promote financial inclusion in Hong Kong,” it said in a press release.

According to the business plan of WDL, established by homegrown Hong Kong fintech company Welab Holdings, the virtual bank intends to launch its services within six to nine months.

ALSO READ: The digital payment battle in HK

Simon Loong, founder and CEO of WeLab, said that WDL will continue to leverage the advanced fintech capabilities and experienced leadership team to revolutionize the banking experience for Hong Kong customers, with the aim of providing more convenient and diversified retail banking services and products to Hong Kong customers.

The HKMA said it is making good progress in the processing of the remaining four shortlisted virtual bank applications.  


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