Thursday 28 March 2019 12:02 pm

Standard Chartered to build new virtual bank in Hong Kong in fintech drive

Standard Chartered will head up a new virtual bank in Hong Kong after being granted a licence by the region’s regulator.

The London-headquartered bank will lead a joint venture with IT firm PCCW, telecoms company HKT and online travel company Ctrip Finance to build a standalone digital retail bank.

Shares in the bank, which will hold a 65 per cent stake in the joint venture, rose more than one per cent in early trading after the announcement overnight.

It will combine PCCW, HKT and Ctrip’s customer bases with Standard Chartered’s banking expertise.

The venture – known as SC Digital Solution – was handed one of the region’s first virtual banking licences yesterday by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).

Customers will be able to open accounts instantly and apply for financial services “in real-time” the bank said.

Chief executive of Standard Chartered Hong Kong, Mary Huen, as well as directors from the venture’s other three firms, will make up the board.

Huen said: “The strengths of our partners combined with our own rich banking expertise mean that we are in a strong position to provide diverse financial solutions to redefine the banking experience for customers in Hong Kong.”

HKMA handed out its first batch of virtual banking licences yesterday in a bid to drive fintech and innovation and promote financial inclusion.