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HKMA launches FinTech-focused academy

Image Credits: South China Morning Post, News Report

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has announced the launch of its Academy of Finance. This is seen as a definite step towards the development of more world-class financial leaders in the city.

The academy, first mentioned by Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary in his budget in February 2018, will invite about 100 top executives from Hong Kong’s banking, finance and insurance industries to participate in a development programme involving workshops and research as members.

No exams, classroom study, training will be conducted but it is expected that the members to be actively involved in the development programme, which will involve a lot of heavyweight speakers, workshops and research.

The members will not be required to pay a fee to attend, and the academy will be funded by the Exchange Fund with a budget of HK$80 million for the first year.

The development programme aims to help senior financial executives become aware of systemic market risks and the latest developments in technology and regulation.

The monetary authority’s Chief Executive, as well as the new academy’s chairman, said that the establishment of the academy will help enhance the soft power of Hong Kong as an international financial centre.

The academy has drawn up a roster of industry heavyweights to come and speak to its members. For instance, Co-Founder and Chairman of an American asset management company have been scheduled for July 2019. More high-profile speakers and guests will be in attendance.

These international financial leaders can share the latest challenges and opportunities with academy members. It was noted that the HKMA wanted the programme to enhance local financial leaders’ awareness of risks, technology and industry trends.

The local financial leaders will also need to make sure their operations meet anti-money-laundering and other environmental and governance policies.

The Hong Kong Institute for Monetary and Financial Research, a former HKMA subsidiary, will merge with the academy and conduct research on topics such as the best use of artificial intelligence or machine learning in the financial sector.

The academy will also recognise as fellows 10 financial industry professionals who have made an outstanding contribution to Hong Kong. Former and current Hong Kong regulators dominate the list.

It was noted that the academy would play a vital role in helping the industry develop the skills needed to overcome challenges, particularly sustainability, and to build the next phase of growth through innovation and collaboration across geographies and industries.

Those who are a part of the academy has stated their gratitude for being fellows of the Academy of Finance.

A major bank noted that they are committed to being the training ground for financial experts and are proud to contribute to Hong Kong’s diverse pool of talent.

Elsewhere, a local industry body, the Hong Kong Association of Banks, said in a statement that the financial industry has been changing at an unprecedented pace in the last decade. With the development of financial technology, evolving regulatory frameworks and higher customer expectations, these changes will only accelerate. Therefore, it is very important that banking practitioners, especially industry leaders, be equipped with updated financial knowledge. It is believed that the setting up of the Academy of Finance will help further consolidate Hong Kong’s position as an international financial centre.

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