Foreign bankers praise wealth management pilot scheme in GBA

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The new Hengqin Port between Macao and Zhuhai. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Foreign bank executives applauded the official launch of the Cross-boundary Wealth Management Connect Pilot Scheme in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area on Friday, calling it significant for promoting interconnection in the GBA and further improving two-way opening-up of the financial industry.

The People’s Bank of China, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Monetary Authority of Macao promulgated on Friday the respective implementation details for the pilot scheme.

Individual residents in the GBA will be able to make use of the channel provided by the scheme to invest in diversified wealth management products across the boundary.

“The launch of the Cross-boundary Wealth Management Connect Pilot Scheme marks a significant milestone in the integration of economies in the region. Not only will the scheme provide huge opportunities to financial institutions in both the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, it will also offer individual investors a wider selection of investment choices,” said Benjamin Hung, Standard Chartered’s CEO for Asia.

“With the pioneering launch in the Bay Area, the scheme is strategically positioned to facilitate and promote two-way capital flows within the region,” Hung said.

The GBA is a key strategic priority of Standard Chartered. The bank’s investment of $40 million to set up the Standard Chartered GBA Center in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, whose first phase of development is already complete and will house over 1,600 people by 2023, will enable the bank to enhance business capabilities and accelerate the development of innovative digital services, transforming the way it supports its clients’ financial goals in the region, he said.

David Liao, co-chief executive of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, said: “HSBC welcomes the announcement of the implementation arrangements of the Cross-boundary Wealth Management Connect Pilot Scheme. The range of eligible products and distribution channels stipulated in the rules reflect a pragmatic approach, taking into consideration the market environment and investors’ needs. Products allowed under both ‘northbound’ and ‘southbound’ scheme will be of low-to-medium risk to ensure a smooth start.”

Liao said the scheme is groundbreaking and will further bolster the financial services industry in the GBA. HSBC aims to be among the first batch of banks to launch the service, with manpower, infrastructure, processes, products and services all lined up and ready.

“We have over 5,000 retail banking staff members in the GBA to support the service. In the initial phrase, HSBC plans to provide over 100 selected wealth management products at low to medium risk, covering all asset classes allowed by the rules.

“Meanwhile, we expect the demand will continue to grow with increasing economic integration among GBA cities, and the scheme will provide Hong Kong investors direct access to a larger variety of RMB products in the longer run,” he said.

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