Hong Kong government dismisses report ranking city fifth for fintech

Deloitte study places city three spots behind rival Singapore, but minister says results do not paint whole picture

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 February, 2017, 8:03am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 February, 2017, 8:36am

The government has dismissed a research report ranking Hong Kong only fifth last year among leading fintech hubs, saying the study did not directly compare financial technology development but rather financial and business environments as a whole.

During a Legislative Council meeting on Wednesday, finance sector legislator Chan Chun-ying asked the government why Hong Kong ranked three spots behind rival Singapore – which ranked second – in the report by global accounting firm Deloitte.

Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Professor Chan Ka-keung said the report did not specifically compare fintech development but rather compiled results from three organisations which ranked the competitiveness of financial centres, their innovation capacity and business environment.

The three organisations each had their own “unique research approach” and took different criteria into consideration, and so “a direct summation of their results may not be entirely appropriate”, Chan said.

According to the treasury minister, Hong Kong’s rate of fintech use by “digitally active people” in 2015 was double that of Singapore, according to the Fintech Adoption Index complied by consultancy Ernst & Young.

Asked by legislator Chan what measures the government had taken to enhance Hong Kong’s competitiveness in fintech, the treasury minister referred to a report released in February last year by the Steering Group on Financial Technologies, which secretary Chan chaired, which introduced several measures on regulation, facilitation, talent, promotion and funding.

The minister also highlighted a survey published by InvestHK in November on the increasing number of fintech start-ups in Hong Kong, up from 86 in mid-2015 to 138 at last count.

The Post has reached out to Deloitte for comment.