On the first keynote panel to kick start the 2020 Hong Kong Fintech Week, Mr. Calvin Choi, Chairman & CEO of AMTD Group, and Ms. Angel Ng, CEO of Citi Hong Kong and Macau, jointly shared opinions on the topic “Banking Will Never Be the Same: How is the Global Pandemic Accelerating the Digitization of Financial Services”. The panel was moderated by Joseph Chan, Chief Digitalisation Officer of Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

When talking about the impacts brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, Calvin Choi, Chairman & CEO of AMTD Group,said he noticed that changes of customer behavior during this period are indeed remarkable. From the client side, physical visit to financial institutions substantially declined, which reflects the increasing demands on virtual engagement and more efficient banking services. There are great opportunities for banks and financial institutions to offer solutions beyond the traditional way. Accordingly, AMTD partnered with Xiaomi to set up Airstar bank, which is one of the eight virtual banks in Hong Kong, to build up a one-stop digital solution bank platform, thereby improving customers’ digitalized experience and loyalty without regional and time constraints.

Calvin believed that the boundary between finance and technology, as well as that of the traditional banks and virtual banks will be more blurred. There will be more traditional banks starting their digital voyage, and more virtual banks will emerge. In such a scenario, AMTD Digital will continue to expand and strengthen the digitalized services to different geographic groups through its unique ecosystem for the sake of fulfilling the ever-growing digital needs. The rapid development of digitalization in the Greater Bay Area and ASEAN will also creates invaluable opportunities for financial institutions in Hong Kong. Particularly, great opportunities can be found in the cooperation and exchanges between the Greater Bay Area and ASEAN. For example, AMTD has recently successfully obtained the nation-wide qualified foreign limited partner (QFLP) license for AMTD Capital in Zhuhai.

Ms. Angel Ng, CEO of Citi Hong Kong and Macau, said that the pandemic has had a great impact on the banking industry, and consumer behavior has also changed a lot. More people are shopping online and using contactless payments. She said that under the pandemic, it will take time for the global and local economies to recover. Under the low interest rates for a long time, it will bring a lot of challenges to the operating banks. Therefore, traditional banks seek to transform, meet new needs of customers, and improve operations efficiency. Ms. Ng also said that she would look for new opportunities in the GBA.

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