Asian banks sharpen innovation focus


HSBC and 11 other banks across Asia are looking to up their focus on innovation to help revitalise the Asia-Pacific banking market.

The focus at the Fintech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific in Hong Kong this year will be to identify opportunities to revitalise the finance and banking markets with the latest in innovative technology and solutions.

Initially launched in 2014, the lab is a fintech accelerator program for budding entrepreneurs funded by global consulting firm, Accenture. Along with various partnering institutions, Accenture will provide mentoring to selected fintech start-ups over a program of 12 weeks. This year HSBC, BNP Paribas, Commonwealth Bank (CBA), UBS, Maybank, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Sun Life Financial, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Generali will come on board to help drive innovation across the banking sector and nurture a new generation of fintechs into becoming enablers, rather than disrupters.

The new banking partners will join established supporters China Citic Bank International, Macquarie, Societe Generale, Sumitomo Sitsui Financial Group, Nomura, China Construction Bank (Asia), Siam Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered and Macquarie.

“Most financial institutions are grappling with how to become more efficient, cut costs, comply with regulators and simultaneously increase their interaction with customers,” said Accenture senior managing director, Jon Allaway.

“The start-ups in this year’s lab offer innovative answers to these problems.”

The current Accenture forecast for Asia-Pacific fintech investments predicts double growth from last financial year to approximately US$9 billion by June 2017.