Why Asian fintech needs balanced regulation

Author: Brian Yap | Published: 21 Mar 2016

Inadequate and strict regulations are hampering growth in Asia's fintech sector, despite the technology surging in the region during recent years

Hong Kong and Singapore have each established committees tasked with reviewing the regulatory environment for fintech with the aim of securing positions as fintech hubs.  

But counsel in Hong Kong argue that the absence of a regulatory framework for fintech and the reliance instead on loosely relevant regulations, which are often stringent, have suffocated the growth of new digital platforms.

"The regulatory environment in Hong Kong is set up to regulate very large bricks‐and‐mortars‐based financial institutions. The regime is complex and relies on compliance expenditure," said Ian Wood, partners at Simmons & Simmons in Hong Kong. "Start‐ups don’t have the infrastructure or funds to be able to comply with the regulations," he added.

The Hong Kong government published a report on financial technologies in...