Fintech, Beyond The Hype

From InvestorDaily.

The impact technology is having on the financial services industry is immense and getting caught up in the hype surrounding new technologies is all too easy, writes SuiteBox’s Ian Dunbar.

The list of buzzwords that dominate the landscape of tech innovation in financial services grows by the day (and yes, they all have to come with a hashtag). But so what?

It is easy to get swept up in the hype of the industry and forget what the point of all this innovation is.

What defines innovation that changes the shape of an industry and, more importantly, makes a difference to real peoples lives?

I have been to many Fintech innovators conferences and have organised two of them through the Afiniation Fintech Network.

I must have seen more than 500 ‘innovators’ presenting their carefully crafted wares to the eager (or cynical) audience.

But again, so what?

Here is an example of how big a difference technology innovation can make in the convenience of life.

The ‘old banking’ in the story is a big lumbering Australian bank and Visa. The ‘new banking’ is Apple and American Express.

I really wish I had been able to say the star of this story was a super exciting start-up operating from a garage somewhere, but yes, it is Apple and Amex (and how often do you read about Amex in a Fintech blog?)

I was travelling in the UK earlier this year and I managed to lose my wallet.

That is a horrible experience at the best of time, but absolutely the worst experience when sitting at a train station outside of London, heading to Heathrow to catch a flight to Zurich.

Hmm, little money (about 5 quid in change), no cards, no drivers licence. What does one do?

The ‘old bank’ financial services provider:

Emergency phone call to Visa and the bank in Australia – Absolutely no way I can get an emergency card quickly in London, but I can arrange an emergency funds transfer to Western Union in 48 hours.

No worries, I will walk from Zurich Airport to the Airbnb and eat nothing for 2 days!

I borrow 200 pounds from a friend in London (phew) and get on my way.

The problem, no confirmation ever arrives of the emergency funds. I phone Visa and the bank a grand total of seven times. Each time I get one step closer to my emergency funds.

The final hurdle, the bank won’t release the funds because Visa has spelled my address with ‘St’, rather than ‘Street’. Seriously!

Later, when I get back from Zurich to London, I get my emergency card via courier, but my unbranded Visa card comes with no pin and no bank in London has any idea what to do with it.

Four more calls to the bank in Australia and I give up.

The ‘new bank’ financial services innovator:

Wondering how I survived? Straight after the first call with Visa and the bank in Australia, I called American Express to cancel my Amex card and order the new one.

Within 2 hours I received an alert on my Apple Pay Wallet on my iPhone that my new Amex card had been loaded and activated.

No more calls, no need for a pin, no courier.

I survived for the next seven days on the cash I had borrowed and using Apple Pay on my phone absolutely everywhere.

The Tube in London, supermarkets, cafes, shops and Uber – I became the walking example of the cashless society.

The point of this story is not to promote Apple or Amex; they are well and truly big enough to do that without me.

The point of recounting my story is to highlight that technology needs to make a difference, not just a little difference but a big difference.

Combine that with good marketing and excellent management and you have a winner.

So, how to cut through the hype of Fintech? The ‘difference’ can come in a number of ways:

Deliver convenience

Technology should make peoples’ lives easier, much easier. It should cut out the friction in the way we interact with financial services.

By reducing wait times, cutting out painful steps in a process, eliminate repeated identity verifications, eliminate paper, printing and postage, offer services when the client is free, not when you are.

The story above, while being an infrequent occurrence, is all about convenience.

Automated advice tools (whether adviser or consumer led), online FX, virtual meeting rooms, video banking, digital signing, digital mortgages, mobile payments, digital identification and biometrics all fall into the domain of enhancing convenience.

Save people money

Technology shouldn’t save users just a little bit of money – as we consumers don’t generally change our behaviour for a small saving – but offer exceptional value, and that generally means savings.

Innovators in the foreign exchange space are great examples of this.

The large banks are making huge returns on small business and consumer FX, which is now being eroded by new entrants.

Peer-to-peer lending is another example, providing lower cost lending to many individuals that might otherwise be denied credit or use pay-day lenders.

Enhanced security of services:

Cyber-security, identity theft, payments fraud are all huge businesses, and while consumers might not pay for it, businesses will.

In Australia in 2015, some 8.5 per cent of the population experienced some form of online theft, costing over $2.1 billion.

Biometrics (voice, eye, thumb print, facial) are growing rapidly and will make a substantial difference to the security of our online and mobile transactions of the future (forget cards, what will a card be?).

Back the leaders in enhancing the security of our financial transactions.

Create an exceptional customer experience:

The financial services industry is not well known for innovative client facing.

Delivering a mobile app is not enough. A staggering 23 per cent of apps are abandoned after first use and 90 per cent after a month.

Fintech innovators are changing this rapidly, with the use of innovative user experience design, gamification, behavioural psychology and more.

Collate, use and share data to create powerful insights and connected eco-systems

Fintech leaders know how to source and use data. Credit scoring, for example, might use information not just from a credit agency (the majority of the world is not scored in credit bureaus) but also source data from social media.

Wealth platforms may source website search histories and social media to predict consumer behaviours before they occur.

AI engines can assess personality profiles based on written content and social media posts.

Data itself, however, is not enough, but when combined with smart algorithms, powerful and valuable consumer insights are created. These insights are valuable.

Fintech is big and it has the attention of the incumbent financial players globally. Spot the difference that a fintech innovator is making, validate it against objective criteria, and strap in and enjoy the ride.

Ian Dunbar is the chief executive officer of SuiteBox.

Trustees Australia announces fintech merger

From InvestorDaily.

Fintech marketplace operator Cashwerkz has merged with Trustees Australia to create a platform that aims to disrupt the fixed interest investment sector.

According to the companies, the merger helps bring together Trustees Australia’s funds under management with Cashwerkz’s distribution platform to serve retail customers, the financial planning industry, superannuation funds, councils and other entities that are looking to invest large cash balances.

It is hoped the merged companies will allow Australian fixed income investors “to find the best term deposit and fixed income solutions to match their investment criteria and to simultaneously and seamlessly transact term deposits online between banks and buy/sell fixed interest securities, such as small parcel bonds, with or without the involvement of intermediaries”.

The merged platform will enable those seeking a term deposit or a related cash product to access Cashwerkz’s marketplace for cash. It will offer consumers a wider choice of ADIs, including access to regional ADIs such as smaller banks, credit unions and building societies. Likewise, it will offer regional ADIs and smaller banks access to a huge number of potential new consumers.

Brook Adcock, chairman of Adcock Private Equity, the company behind Cashwerkz, commented, “While some incumbents are keen to use the cost and difficulties associated with compliance of cash investments to ‘own’ their clients, consumers in many markets are now empowered by technology to break those compliance shackles and access better deals.

“There is an enormous opportunity to scale the business by expanding into the (before now), too granular and untapped retail market, the up-until-now paper-based middle-market, and the before-now too-time-consuming IFA market.”

Cashwerkz says it aims to expand into new products such as cash management accounts, high interest savings accounts, annuities and bonds.

Further, by retaining its custodial licence, the entity, listed under Trustees Australia, can offer custodial services to small and medium third parties, which it has identified as a gap in the market.

SocietyOne hits $200m milestone

According to Australian Fintech, SocietyOne, Australia’s marketplace lender, has achieved another key milestone after breaking through the $200 million lending mark.

The last three months of the 2016 calendar year have witnessed the strongest growth in the company’s four-year history with an additional $50 million of lending made between the first weeks of September and mid-December. November saw a record month of more than $15.3 million in lending.

That took the total amount of lending made by SocietyOne to just over $200 million since inception of which $126 million – nearly two-thirds of the total – has been recorded in 2016 alone, said Jason Yetton, SocietyOne’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.

The year had seen strong demand from both borrowers of personal loans and investors with every dollar lent matched by a dollar in funding from wholesale investors such as life companies, mutual banks, credit unions, SMSFs and high net worth individuals through SocietyOne’s digital auction marketplace. The total number of investor funders has now grown to 280 since the company started lending in August 2012.

“2016 has been a milestone year for several reasons, not least for the fact of us reaching a total of $200 million in lending which makes us the clear leader in marketplace lending for consumer finance in Australia,” said Mr Yetton.

“Having started the year with $70 million of originated loans since we commenced in August 2012, we have virtually tripled that amount in the last 12 months with an additional $126 million of lending to our personal loans and agri-lending customers. This is a real testament to the vision of the company’s co-founders, Greg Symons and Matt Symons, and the hard work of everyone at SocietyOne.

“We are now looking forward to an even better year to come in 2017 as the opportunity opens up for us to mount a real challenge to the big four banks in the $20 billion personal loan market and the wider $100 billion consumer finance market. This is part of our goals to achieve a 2-3 per cent share of the consumer finance market by 2021 and helping over 100,000 Australians to get a better deal.”

Mr Yetton’s comments came as SocietyOne released its latest performance figures, which show:

  • An acceleration in quarterly lending in the three months to December. SocietyOne topped $100 million in total originated loans in early-April this year, up from $70 million at the start of January, and then reached $150 million in early-September;
  • Available funding from investors for borrower customers has averaged $22 million a month for the past six months;
  • The effective annualised rate of return across the company’s portfolio of two year, three year and five year personal loans has averaged 10.66% p.a. between January 2014 and the end of November 2016(a) ;
  • The number of borrower customer accounts has grown by a further 1,800 since August 2016 to now stand at 7,800 at December;
  • Default rates of the personal loan portfolio as at the end of November 2016 were 1.1% compared to a sector average of 2-3%.

“The momentum we saw in the first half of the year has increased in the second half following our successful national TV brand campaign that was launched during the Rio Olympic Games on Channel 7,” added Mr Yetton.

“Hundreds of thousands of Australians have been empowered with their personal credit information through and are now aware that they can get personal loans tailored to their individual circumstances without having to turn to their major bank. Since June, the number of Australians who have obtained their credit score has risen by nearly 450,000 to 800,000 now.

“At the same they are also discovering that there is a better, trusted alternative to the one-size-fits all, higher comparison interest rates the traditional big banks offer.

“That alternative now includes even better reasons for customers to tackle the financial issues that matter to them, whether it’s consolidating credit card debt, renovating their home, buying a car, taking that well-deserved holiday, paying for the wedding of their dreams or covering off those ever-increasing school fees.

“We’re now offering interest rates that are up to 1.4 percentage points lower than our previously publicised rates as we look to help out Australians at what is arguably the most expensive time of the year as Christmas, the summer holidays and back to school come together in one huge spending moment.

“We are also responding to borrower demand by increasing the limit available on our personal loans from $35,000 to $50,000 which will give our customers the financial flexibility they are looking for.”

Mr Yetton also announced two changes to SocietyOne’s management team with the appointment of Maria Loyez as the company’s new Chief Marketing Officer and the resignation of Company Secretary Jerry Yohananov.

ASIC releases world-first licensing exemption for fintech businesses

ASIC has today released class waivers to allow eligible financial technology (fintech) businesses to test certain specified services without holding an Australian financial services or credit licence.

ASIC Commissioner John Price said, ‘ASIC’s ‘fintech licensing exemption’ is unique. No other major jurisdiction has implemented a class waiver which allows eligible businesses to notify the regulator and then commence testing without an individual application process.’

ASIC has also released Regulatory Guide 257 Testing fintech products and services without holding an AFS or credit licence (RG 257), which contains information about Australia’s ‘regulatory sandbox’ framework.

That framework is comprised of:

  • existing flexibility in the regulatory framework or exemptions already provided by the law or ASIC which mean that a licence is not required. Examples include existing ASIC relief for non-cash payment products like stored value cards and regulations meaning that a licence is often not required for certain foreign exchange services;
  • ASIC’s fintech licensing exemption provided under ASIC Corporations (Concept Validation Licensing Exemption) Instrument 2016/1175 and ASIC Credit (Concept Validation Licensing Exemption) Instrument 2016/1176
  • tailored, individual licensing exemptions from ASIC to facilitate product or service testing – individual exemptions of this nature are similar to the ‘regulatory sandbox’ frameworks established by financial services regulators in other jurisdictions.

ASIC Commissioner John Price said, ‘Fintech and start-up businesses now have more pathways than ever to begin testing the viability of innovative financial services and credit services consumers, before incurring many of the regulatory costs normally associated with running their business.’

Fintech licensing exemption

ASIC’s fintech licensing exemption allows eligible businesses to test specified services for up to 12 months with up to 100 retail clients, provided they also meet certain consumer protection conditions and notify ASIC before they commence the business.

‘ASIC’s fintech licensing exemption reflects our commitment to facilitating innovation in financial services. However, we are equally committed to ensuring that innovative products and services are regulated appropriately and promote good consumer outcomes,’ Mr Price said.

The fintech licensing exemption was initially proposed in Consultation Paper 260 Further measures to facilitate innovation in financial services (CP 260). ASIC has amended its proposal in light of the feedback received, including extending the testing period and expanding the products in relation to which services can be tested.

Information about the services covered by the fintech licensing exemption, is available in an ASIC infographic, as well as in RG 257.

Businesses that are not eligible for the fintech licensing exemption are able to seek an individual exemption. ASIC’s policy on exemptions is available in Regulatory Guide 51 Applications for relief (RG 51).

‘Individual applications are an important part of Australia’s regulatory sandbox framework,’ Mr Price said. ‘For instance, this option is open to existing licensees who wish to test an innovative product or service and comply with a modified version of the law.’

Other measures to facilitate innovation

ASIC has today also released updated guidance to licensees on satisfying the requirements to maintain competence in Regulatory Guide 105 Licensing: Organisational competence (RG 105) and Regulatory Guide 206 Credit licensing – Competence and training (RG 206). These updates are also based on feedback received to proposals in CP 260.

The updated guidance in RG 105 provides greater flexibility for some ‘small-scale, heavily automated businesses’ seeking to nominate a responsible manager. These businesses may now nominate a responsible manager without day-to-day involvement in the business to provide regular sign-off on the licensee’s processes and systems and the quality of financial services provided.

RG 105 has also been updated to include six examples to help illustrate the how we assess submissions about a responsible manager’s knowledge and skills under Option 5 of RG 105.

Mr Price said, ‘These are important updates to our licensing regime which take into account the circumstances of new innovative businesses and facilitate these businesses to meet the organisational competence requirements in alternative ways.’


Regulatory Guide 257 Testing fintech products and services without holding an AFS or credit licence

Reckon Loans Has Funded Over $1million to SME’s

From Australian Fintech

Australian cloud accounting software provider Reckon has announced its new Reckon Loans (powered by Prospa) platform has funded over $1million to small businesses, proving the online lending market is growing at an extraordinary pace.

In partnership with Prospa, Australia’s leading online lender to small businesses, Reckon Loans provides SME’s a fast and simple service with approvals and funding of loans from $5,000 to $250,000 available within one business day.

Reckon Group COO Dan Rabie said Reckon Loans is a disrupter in the fintech space, adding diversity and removing the red tape from the small-business loans market.

“This is a significant milestone for our business and clearly shows there’s a need for a faster and friendlier service than the banks are providing. We can access accounting data through the Reckon One platform to look at the overall health of a business, not just personal credit scores.

“There are 400,000 small businesses needing cashflow financing each year which is the highest ranked pain point that keeps small business owners up at night. This issue isn’t being served well by traditional lending sources, so we took a brave step to help the engine room of our economy thrive,” he said.

Beau Bertoli, Joint CEO of Prospa said the success of Reckon Loans was yet another proof point that small businesses want easy access to capital.

“Reckon Loans powered by Prospa is a partnership between two trusted brands. Together we’ve been able to offer business owners a customised approach to access working capital and grow their business.

“Customer feedback has been incredibly positive. To reach this figure in such a short space of time means we’re having a major impact.”

“We’re optimistic about the future. As the market leader, we’ll continue to invest heavily in developing deeper integrations to improve the partnership and customer journey,” Beau Bertoli said.

Owner of thriving WA day spa, Simply Beautiful Hair and Beauty, Suzanne Flanders, required cash flow to expand her business and after evaluating her options, she shunned the big banks and applied for a small business loan from Reckon Loans.

“I’m not a clairvoyant and don’t have the time to spend away from the business creating forecasts, and usually the banks ask you to reassess and re-submit all the paperwork. The Reckon process was a breeze and as a result of having quick access to finance I’ve been able to successfully grow,” she said.

In addition to the launch of Reckon Loans, the company has several high-growth opportunities that will move the needle of innovation forward, making it easier for SME’s to succeed.

“We’ve developed a smarter breed of online accounting software with the Reckon One platform that’s designed to disrupt high margin incumbents through a game-changing pricing model. Integrations with Reckon Loans within our core product will ensure we are providing our customers with the ultimate in responsive, agile lending,” said Rabie.

Fintech – What Are The Risks?

Fed Governor Lael Brainard spoke on “The Opportunities and Challenges of Fintech” and highlighted the tension between the lightning pace of development of new products and services being brought to market–sometimes by firms that are new or have not historically specialized in consumer finance–and the duty to ensure that important risks around financial services and payments are addressed.The key challenge for regulatory agencies is to create the right balance.


Fintech has the potential to transform the way that financial services are delivered and designed as well as the underlying processes of payments, clearing, and settlement. The past few years have seen a proliferation of new digitally enabled financial products and services, in addition to new processes and platforms. Just as smartphones revolutionized the way in which we interact with one another to communicate and share information, fintech may impact nearly every aspect of how we interact with each other financially, from payments and credit to savings and financial planning. In our continuously connected, on-demand world, consumers, businesses, and financial institutions are all eager to find new ways to engage in financial transactions that are more convenient, timely, secure, and efficient.

In many cases, fintech puts financial change at consumers’ fingertips–literally. Today’s consumers, particularly millennials, are accustomed to having a wide range of applications, options, and information immediately accessible to them. Almost every type of consumer transaction–ordering groceries, downloading a movie, buying furniture, or arranging childcare, to name a few–can be done on a mobile device, and there are often multiple different applications that consumers can choose for each of these tasks based on their preferences. It seems inevitable for this kind of convenience, immediacy, and customization to extend to financial services. Indeed, according to the Federal Reserve Board’s most recent survey of mobile financial services, fully two-thirds of consumers between the ages of 18 and 29 having a mobile phone and a bank account use mobile banking.

New fintech platforms are giving consumers and small businesses more real-time control over their finances. Once broad adoption is achieved, it is technologically quite simple to conduct cashless person-to-person fund transfers, enabling, among other things, the splitting of a check after a meal out with friends or the sending of remittances quickly and cheaply to friends or family in other countries. Financial management tools are automating savings decisions based on what consumers can afford, and they are helping consumers set financial goals and providing feedback on expenditures that are inconsistent with those goals. In some cases, fintech applications are automatically transferring spare account balances into savings, based on monthly spending and income patterns, effectively making savings the default choice. Other applications are providing consumers with more real-time access to earnings as they are accrued rather than waiting for their regular payday. This service may be particularly valuable to the nearly 50 percent of adults with extremely limited liquid savings. It is too early to know what the overall impact of these innovations will be, but they offer the potential to empower consumers to better manage cash flow to reduce the need for more expensive credit products to cover short-term cash needs.

One particularly promising aspect of fintech is the potential to expand access to credit and other financial services for consumers and small businesses. By reducing loan processing and underwriting costs, online origination platforms may enable financial services providers to more cost effectively offer smaller-balance loans to households and small businesses than had previously been feasible. In addition, broader analysis of data may allow lenders to better assess the creditworthiness of potential borrowers, facilitating the responsible provision of loans to some individuals and firms that otherwise would not have access to such credit. In recent years, some innovative Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) have developed partnerships with online alternative lenders, with the goal of expanding credit access to underserved small businesses.

The challenge will be to foster socially beneficial innovation that responsibly expands access to credit for underserved consumers and small businesses, and those who otherwise would qualify only for high-cost alternatives. It would be a lost opportunity if, instead of expanding access in a socially beneficial way, some fintech products merely provided a vehicle to market high-cost loans to the underserved, or resulted in the digital equivalent of redlining, exacerbating rather than ameliorating financial access inequities.

We are also monitoring a growing fintech segment called “regtech” that aims to help banks achieve regulatory compliance more effectively. Regtech firms are designing new tools to assist banks and other financial institutions in addressing regulatory compliance issues ranging from onboarding new customers to consumer protection to payments and governance. Many of the current solutions are focused on Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regulatory requirements, including know-your-customer (KYC) and suspicious activity reporting requirements. The solutions utilize new technologies and data-analytic techniques that may reduce the costs and time needed for banks to identify and assess customers’ money-laundering and terrorist-financing risks. However, it is too early to tell the degree to which innovative approaches to customer due diligence, such as KYC utilities, will deliver efficiency gains such as those outlined in the recent Bank for International Settlements Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures report on correspondent banking.

Ensuring Risks Are Managed and Consumers Are Protected

While financial innovation holds promise, it is crucial that financial firms, customers, regulators, and other stakeholders understand and mitigate associated risks. There is a tension between the lightning pace of development of new products and services being brought to market–sometimes by firms that are new or have not historically specialized in consumer finance–and the duty to ensure that important risks around financial services and payments are addressed. Firms need to ensure that they are appropriately controlling and mitigating both risks that are unique to fintech as well as risks that exist independently of new technologies.

For example, some fintech firms are exploring the use of nontraditional data in underwriting and pricing credit products. While nontraditional data may have the potential to help evaluate consumers who lack credit histories, some data may raise consumer protection concerns. Nontraditional data, such as the level of education and social media usage, may not necessarily have a broadly agreed upon or empirically established nexus with creditworthiness and may be correlated with characteristics protected by fair lending laws. To the extent that the use of this type of data could result in unfairly disadvantaging some groups of consumers, it requires careful review to ensure legal compliance. In addition, while consumers generally have some sense of how their financial behavior affects their traditional credit scores, alternative credit scoring methods present new challenges that could raise questions of fairness and transparency. It may not always be readily apparent to consumers, or even to regulators, what specific information is utilized by certain alternative credit scoring systems, how such use impacts a consumer’s ability to secure a loan or its pricing, and what behavioral changes consumers might take to improve their credit access and pricing.

Similarly, fintech innovations that rely on data sharing may create security, privacy, and data-ownership risks, even as they provide increased convenience to consumers. Recent examples of large-scale fraud and cybersecurity breaches have illustrated the significance of possible security risks. As the data sets that financial institutions utilize expand beyond traditional consumer credit histories, data privacy will become a growing concern, as will data ownership and whether or not the consumer has any say over how these data are used and shared or whether he or she can review it for accuracy. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently issued a request for information to better understand the benefits and risks associated with new financial services that rely on access to consumer financial accounts and account-related information.

In addition to the risks I have outlined that are specific to new financial technologies, firms also must control for risks that have always been present, even in brick-and-mortar financial institutions. For example, risks around the BSA and Anti-Money Laundering rules cut across all segments and all portfolios. Similarly, firms must monitor credit and liquidity risks of loans acquired or processed via fintech platforms, especially given that these products have not been tested over an economic cycle.

Furthermore, as a general rule, the introduction of new products or services typically involves heightened risks as a financial institution enters into new areas with which it may not have experience or that may not be consistent with its overall business strategy and risk tolerance. Banks collaborating with fintech firms must control for the risks associated with the associated new products, services, and third-party relationships. When incorporating innovation that is consistent with a bank’s goals and risk tolerance, bankers will need to consider which model of engagement is most appropriate in light of their business model and risk-management infrastructure, manage any outsourced relationships consistent with supervisory expectations, ensure that regulatory compliance considerations are included in the development of new products and services, and have strong fallback plans in place to limit the risks associated with products and partners that may not survive.

With the growing number of partnerships between banks and fintech companies, we often receive questions about the applicability of our vendor risk-management guidance. We are actively reviewing our guidance to determine whether any adjustments or clarifications may become appropriate in the context of these arrangements. We hear concerns from community bankers in particular about their internal capacity to undertake the requisite due diligence and ongoing vendor management on their own, especially with much larger vendors, and questions about whether the interagency service providers supervision program might be relevant in this context. We are thinking about whether changes brought about by fintech and fintech partnerships may warrant consideration of any changes to the interagency supervision program for service providers.

Regulatory Engagement

I believe that the Federal Reserve is well-positioned to help shape this innovation as it develops, and it is important that we be clear about our expectations and mindful of the possible effects of our actions. The policy, regulatory, and supervisory decisions made by the Federal Reserve and other financial regulators can impact the ways in which new financial technologies are developed and implemented, and ultimately how effective they are. It is critical that fintech firms and financial institutions comply with all applicable legal protections and obligations. At the same time, it is important that regulators and supervisors not impose undue burdens on financial innovations that would provide broad social benefits responsibly. An unduly rigid regulatory or supervisory posture could lead to unintended consequences, such as the movement of innovations outside of the regulated banking industry, potentially creating greater risks and less transparency.

The rapid pace of change and the large number of actors–both banks and nonbanks–in fintech raise questions about how to effectively conduct our regulatory and supervisory activities. In one sense, regulators’ approach to fintech should be no different than for conventional financial products or services. The same basic principles regarding fairness and transparency should apply regardless of whether a consumer obtains a product through a brick-and-mortar bank branch or an online portal using a smartphone. Indeed, the same consumer laws and regulations that apply to products offered by banks generally apply to nonbank fintech firms as well, even though their business models may differ. However, the application of laws and regulations that were designed based on traditional financial products and delivery channels may give rise to complex or novel issues when applied to new products or new delivery channels. As a result, we are committed to regularly engage with firms and the technology to develop a shared understanding of these issues as they evolve.

Fundamentally, financial institutions themselves are responsible for providing innovative financial services safely. Financial services firms must pair technological know-how and innovative services with a strong compliance culture and a thorough knowledge of the important legal and compliance guardrails. While “run fast and break things” may be a popular mantra in the technology space, it is ill-suited to an arena that depends on trust and confidence. New entrants need to understand that the financial arena is a carefully regulated space with a compelling rationale underlying the various rules at play, even if these are likely to evolve over time. There is more at stake in the realm of financial services than in some other areas of technological innovation. There are more serious and lasting consequences for a consumer who gets, for instance, an unsustainable loan on his or her smartphone than for a consumer who downloads the wrong movie or listens to a bad podcast. At the same time, regulators may need to revisit processes designed for a brick-and-mortar world when approaching digital finance. To ensure that fintech realizes its positive potential, regulators and firms alike should take a long view, with thoughtful engagement on both sides.

When we look back at times of financial crisis or missteps, we frequently find that a key cause was elevating short-term profitability over long-term sustainability and consumer welfare. It was not long ago that so-called exotic mortgages originally designed for niche borrowers became increasingly marketed to low- and moderate-income borrowers who could not sustain them, ultimately with disastrous results. In addition to the financial consequences for individual consumers, the drive for unsustainable profit can contribute to distrust in the financial system, which is detrimental to the broader economy. It is critical that firms providing financial services consider the long-term social benefit of the products and services they offer. Concerns regarding long-term sustainability are magnified in situations where banks may bear credit or other longer-term operational risks related to products delivered by a fintech firm. One useful question to ask is whether a product’s success depends on consumers making ill-informed choices; if so, or if the product otherwise fails to provide sufficient value to consumers, it is not going to be seen as responsible and may not prove sustainable over time.

The key challenge for regulatory agencies is to create the right balance. Ultimately, regulators should be prepared to appropriately tailor regulatory or supervisory expectations, to the extent possible within our respective authorities, to facilitate fintech innovations that produce benefits for consumers, businesses, and the financial system. At the same time, any contemplated adjustments must also appropriately manage corresponding risks.

ANZ has little time for robo-advice

From Financial Standard.

ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott said the bank won’t be embracing robo-advice any time soon. And opportunities are less in Australia for fintechs.


Speaking at a Reuters Newsmaker event in Sydney yesterday, Elliott told attendees that ANZ’s focus moving forward is on becoming the best bank in the world and increasing its competitive advantage – a strategy he doesn’t think robo-advice could contribute to.

“We have looked into robo-advice, and I do think there is a role for it now and in the future. But the question is whether it’s something we could do better than everybody else, and I’m not convinced. We have done a few trials and there’s a lot of exciting stuff there, but I’m not sure it’s anything that would differentiate us,” Elliott said.

“There are a lot of things we could do, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we should do them. I think there are more meaningful things we should invest in right now.”

Elliott did admit that he is concerned about the threat to the traditional banking system posed by fintech. Though, he doesn’t believe the opportunity for fintechs to thrive is as abundant in Australia due to the efficient nature of the market.

“I worry about fintech just as I worry about any kind of competition. But I do think the opportunities are less in Australia for fintech than in other regions, we don’t have the kind of glaring inefficiencies that you see – even in parts of the United States – that make them a much more attractive place for disruption,” Elliott said.

However, Elliott acknowledged the “really good thinking” occurring in fintech and hinted at a potential partnership in the future.

“We do think that there’s an opportunity for us to possibly work with them. You have to understand that we’ve got something of enormous value, which is a lot of customers that trust ANZ,” Elliott said.

Placing a move into robo-advice on the backburner comes as part of the bank’s decision to downsize, with the recent sale of its branch network across five Asian countries to DBS Bank and the potential sale of its wealth business, and is also part of the institution’s strategy for transforming the business’ culture.

Elliott said that the bank’s conglomerate presence in the past caused a failing in terms of visibility across all aspects of the business, saying that the complex structure of the organisation meant there was no way of really knowing what was going on at all times but ANZ is working towards changing that.

“We’ve made a lot of symbolic changes in terms of making us a more humble organisation, in terms of how senior executives behave, how we interact with people and what we talk about…We’re changing that in two ways, having less things to do – less products, less places, less product groups – and making sure that the way we run them is appropriate,” Elliott said.

“We actually want to be smaller, to be better. And we want to do what we’re good at even better. I figure a smaller bank and a simpler bank will be easier to manage.”

Banks will displace fintech lenders, predicts PwC

The fintech lending sector will eventually be cannibalised by the activities of the major banks, argues PwC as reported in Fintech Business.


Speaking on a panel at the Australian Securitisation Forum in Sydney this week, PwC Asia head of digital financial services, Thomas Achhorner, said incumbents will most likely muscle in on any innovation from disruptors and “mimic” their offerings more successfully.

“It is fair to say that an online digital mortgage is something that every bank in this country is currently working on,” Mr Achhorner said.

“Not only the mortgage itself, but a broader, ecosystem-based experience starting from the real estate purchase all the way to insurance and everything that happens downstream from the mortgage.”

Asked about the impact of fintech disruptors, the PwC partner said banks typically react to new fintech players in three ways.

“One is they might collaborate with them and establish partnerships and build them into their own platforms,” Mr Achhorner said.

“The second one is the incumbents create the capabilities themselves – they mimic what fintechs do. Or, in the third case, sometimes fintechs are ignored,” he said.

“In the long term many fintechs will disappear because the incumbents have better cards in this game. They have the means, the funding, the brand, to some extent the trust although that is eroding a little bit, and they have the customer base.

“If there is a new offering from a peer-to-peer lender, for example, the incumbent who is able to mimic what the fintech does very quickly will probably win.”

Mr Achhorner said this is already happening in other sectors, such as financial advice, where banks are dominating robo-advice.

“In the long term most fintechs disappear, with a few exceptions. About 98 per cent will disappear,” he said.

However, as banks continue to work on a digital mortgage product, one of the biggest hurdles they face is codifying credit rules.

“The first challenge is to codify those rules in a systematic fashion,” Mr Achhorner said. “Before you can even think about putting the decisioning into a machine. That will be critical. It will be critical for every financial institution to put its own rules, and its own credit rules, into this machine.”

If successful, this has the potential to increase the consistency of decision making and reduce operational risk, Mr Achhorner said. However, he warned that if everyone has the same rules or similar rules we might see fluctuations in the market very quickly.

“Which is what happened when algorithmic trading was introduced into financial markets,” he said. “Everyone did the same thing. This could happen in the credit market as well where everyone tries to lend to the same ‘good’ risks and nobody lends to the poorer risks anymore.

“So we could see a huge imbalance. A reasonable or more prudent model is something more hybrid.”

SME’s Are More Connected Than Ever

We continue our series on the results from our latest SME surveys. Today we look at the digital trends of SME’s. On average, around 13% of firms are digital luddites – meaning they hardly use digital at all, but the rest are digitally aligned. This means they prefer using a mobile device, are likely to be using social media, and to use cloud based services.

We separate these digitally aligned firms into those who are natives – meaning they have grown up digital, and those who have migrated to digital. Natives have a much higher propensity to adopt new technology, and are much more interested in Fintech offerings.

Things get interesting when we look at the segments.

nov-16-technoThis is reflected in their preferred channel for banking. More than ever are now wanting their banking delivered via apps, or smart phone. Bank branches are important, for a minority, mainly because of the need to handle cash. The channel mix does vary by segment.

nov-16-techno-channelMany firms are now connected 24×7, but this does vary by segment. Around 20% are hardly online at all. This highlights the need to bankers to have an appropriate set of channel strategies for their SME customers. Many do not.

nov-16-techno-timeMore are using smart devices as their main device. Some still use personal computers.

nov-16-techno-deviceAwareness of cloud delivered services is increasing, and once again we see some interesting variations across the segments.  Digital natives are most comfortable.

nov-16-techno-cloudFinally, awareness of Fintech alternatives to the banks continues to grow. Again, digital natives are most comfortable and most likely to consider applying for funds from non-conventional lenders.

nov-16-techno-fintech   Next time we will look at business confidence, which varies across the segments, and across states.



Singapore’s FinTech journey

We get a good summary of Singapore’s approach to FinTech, from a speech by Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, given at the Singapore FinTech Festival. They want to create a Smart Financial Centre to increase efficiency, manage risks better, to create new opportunities and to improve people’s lives. Innovative finance, he says, must be purposeful finance. Financial technology or FinTech is transforming financial services, in a way not seen before.


  • We have unprecedented mobility. The smartphone is becoming our bank.  People can consume financial services on the go.
  • We have unprecedented connectivity. The Internet has compressed time and space.  Interaction is real-time and unconstrained by physical boundaries.
  • We have unprecedented computing power. The devices in our hands or on our wrists are literally pokemons – pocket-sized monsters that pack more data and more processing power than super computers just a couple of decades ago.

Digital payments are becoming more widespread, propelled by advances in near-field communications, identity authentication, digital IDs, and biometrics.

Blockchains or distributed ledgers are being tested for a wide variety of financial operations, to make them faster, more robust, more efficient:

  • to settle interbank payments;
  • to verify and reconcile trade finance invoices;
  • to execute, enforce, and verify the performance of contracts;
  • to keep an audit trail and deter money laundering.

Perhaps the biggest potential is in what is called Big Data.  We are beginning to aggregate and analyse large data sets to:

  • gain richer insights into customer behaviour and needs;
  • detect fraud or anomalies in financial transactions;
  • sharpen surveillance of market trends and emerging risks.

Big data is in turn being driven by advances in:

  • sensor networks and natural language processing to gather information from a wide universe of sources;
  • cloud technologies to store and retrieve large volumes of information at low cost and on-demand;
  • learning machines and smart algorithms that can continuously adapt and improve on their decision making with every iteration.

Smart Financial Centre Vision

Be it countries, businesses, or people – those who are alert to technology trends, understand their implications, and harness their potential will gain a competitive edge.

  • To be sure, many of these technologies are disruptive to existing jobs and existing business models.
  • But if we do not disrupt ourselves – in a manner we choose – somebody else will – in a manner we will not like.

Last year, MAS laid out a vision for a Smart Financial Centre, where innovation is pervasive and technology is used widely.

Since then, MAS has been working closely with the financial industry, FinTech start-ups, the institutes of higher learning and other stakeholders towards this shared vision.  MAS’ role in supporting this FinTech journey is two-fold:

  • provide regulation conducive to innovation while fostering safety and security; and
  • facilitate infrastructure for an innovation ecosystem and adoption of new technologies.

REGULATION Conducive to Innovation

Let me start with a couple of general principles underlying our approach to FinTech regulation.

First, we believe regulation must not front-run innovation.

  • Introducing regulation prematurely may stifle innovation and potentially derail the adoption of useful technology.
  • But the regulator must run alongside innovation.
  • It is important to keep pace with what is going on, assess what the risks might be, and continually evaluate whether it is necessary to regulate or leave things to evolve further.

Second, we apply a materiality and proportionality test.

  • This means regulation comes in only when the risk posed by the new technology becomes material or crosses a threshold.
  • And the weight of regulation must be proportionate to the risk posed.

Third, we focus on the balance of risks posed by new technologies or solutions.

  • Many technologies mitigate existing risks but may create new ones.
  • The regulatory approach must seek to incentivise the risk mitigation aspects while restraining the new risks.

Let me illustrate our approach to the regulation of FinTech with a few concrete initiatives:

  • Activity-based regulation to keep pace with payments innovations.
  • Specific guidelines to promote secure cloud computing.
  • Enabling digital financial advice and insurance.
  • A regulatory sandbox to test innovative ideas.
  • Strengthening cyber security.

Activity-Based Regulation for Payments

Some of the most visible FinTech innovations are taking place in the payments space.

  • They are making payments cheaper, faster, better – delighting consumers and giving the banks a run for their money.
  • But many of these e-wallet solutions are currently caught under two separate pieces of regulation in Singapore.

MAS will streamline the licensing of payments services under a single, activity-based modular framework.  This means:

  • holding just one licence to conduct different kinds of payment activities;
  • meeting only those regulations pertinent to the specific payments activities they undertake, rather than the full gamut of payments regulations;
  • adhering to common standards for consumer protection and cyber security.

Guidelines to Promote Secure Cloud Computing

There used to be a view within some quarters that “MAS does not like the cloud“.  Lest there be any lingering doubt, let me reiterate: MAS has no objections to FIs using the cloud.

  • Cloud computing provides economies of scale, enhances operational efficiencies, and delivers potential cost savings.
  • In fact, a secure cloud infrastructure is an enabler for a variety of FinTech innovations, including banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platforms.

To put its money where its mouth is, MAS set out earlier this year specific guidelines on the use of cloud services by FIs.

  • FIs are free to adopt private clouds, public clouds, or a combination of these to create hybrid clouds.
  • But some of the distinguishing features of clouds – such as multi-tenancy, data commingling, and processing in multiple locations – can potentially pose issues for data confidentiality and recoverability.
  • And so we expect FIs to conduct the necessary due diligence and apply sound governance and risk management practices to address potential vulnerabilities.

Enabling Digital Financial Advice and Insurance

The digital offering of financial advice and insurance is becoming more popular, catering to the needs of a growing segment of technology-savvy, self-directed consumers.

  • MAS’ regulatory framework for financial advice is technology-agnostic.
  • But we need to update it to make it easier for consumers to benefit from the lower cost and greater choice that digital advice and insurance can potentially provide.
  • While at the same time ensuring adequate safeguards for these consumers.

Automated, algorithm-based digital advice on financial or investment services by robo-advisers has taken off in the United States and will soon reach our shores.

  • MAS will soon set out proposals on the governance, supervision, and management of algorithms for robo-advisers to ensure integrity and robustness in the delivery of financial advice.
  • We will consult the industry before finalising the guidance.

In insurance, MAS already allows insurers to offer online without advice simple term life and direct purchase policies with broadly standardised features.

  • MAS will now allow insurers to offer the full suite of life insurance products online without advice.
  • MAS will be issuing guidance on the safeguards to be put in place for online distribution of life insurance products.

Regulatory Sandbox to Test Innovative Ideas

In June this year, MAS launched a regulatory sandbox for financial institutions as well as new FinTech players to test their innovations. The sandbox serves two purposes:

  • First, it allows experiments to take place, even where it is not possible at the outset to anticipate every risk or meet every regulatory requirement.
  • Second, it provides an environment where if an experiment fails, it fails safely and cheaply within controlled boundaries, without widespread adverse consequences.

How will the sandbox work?

  • MAS and the applicant will jointly define the boundaries within which the experiment will take place.
  • MAS will then determine the specific legal and regulatory requirements which it is prepared to relax for the duration of the experiment within these boundaries.

We have received several sandbox applications since June, from FIs and FinTech players.

  • The proposals leverage a range of technologies including distributed ledgers, machine learning, and big data analytics.
  • MAS is reviewing the applications and looks forward to having some of these proposals launched in the sandbox soon.

Meanwhile, we will be issuing today our finalised regulatory sandbox guidelines, incorporating feedback from the industry and road-tested against the actual sandbox applications we have received.

Strengthening Cyber Security

A smart financial centre must be a safe financial centre.

  • As more financial services are delivered over the Internet, there will be growing security and privacy concerns from cyber threats.
  • Users will have confidence in new technologies and innovative services only to the extent they have confidence in cyber security.

Strengthening cyber security is therefore an important part of Singapore’s FinTech agenda. MAS works closely with other government agencies and the industry to help ensure cyber-defences are robust.

  • Given the interconnectedness of financial activities and systems, an effective cyber defence strategy requires close co-operation and sharing of cyber intelligence.
  • A good model for such co-operation among banks in the US is the Financial Services – Information Sharing and Analysis Centre, or FS-ISAC.
  • It is the global financial industry’s go-to resource for cyber threat intelligence analysis and sharing.

I am pleased to announce that FS-ISAC will set up in Singapore the industry body’s only cyber intelligence centre in the Asia-Pacific region.

  • This centre will help our financial industry better monitor cyber threats and provide better intelligence support.
  • It will also help deepen the capabilities of the cyber security community here.

INFRASTRUCTURE for an Innovation Ecosystem

The second key thrust of Singapore’s FinTech agenda is to facilitate the infrastructure necessary for an innovation ecosystem and the adoption of new technologies.

  • We need an ecosystem where people can connect and collaborate, and ideas can flow and multiply.
  • We need common standards and inter-operable systems so that innovations can be scaled up quickly and their potential benefits fully realised.
  • W want a hundred flowers of innovation to bloom but also want to ensure they make a garden.

To facilitate such an ecosystem, MAS started with itself:

  • Last year, we formed within MAS a new FinTech & Innovation Group under a Chief FinTech Officer – probably the first regulator in the world to do so.  The Group’s task is to work with the financial industry and FinTech players and help foster a conducive ecosystem for innovation.
  • MAS has committed S$225 million (or US$160 million) over five years to support the development of a vibrant FinTech ecosystem.
  • Earlier this year, MAS and the National Research Foundation (NRF) set up a FinTech Office to provide a one-stop point-of-contact for all FinTech matters.- If you are a FinTech company interested in finding out what are the grants and assistance schemes available in Singapore or connecting with relevant government agencies to expedite approvals – this is the Office to go to.

Creating the infrastructure for an innovation ecosystem is a shared responsibility and joint effort.  MAS plays the role of a facilitator, the real work is done by the financial industry and the FinTech community coming together to collaborate and create.

Let me highlight the exciting infrastructure initiatives underway:

  • Physical spaces for collaboration and experimentation.
  • Infrastructure for electronic payments.
  • A national “know-your-customer” utility.
  • A blockchain infrastructure for cross-border inter-bank payments.
  • An open API architecture.

Physical Spaces for Collaboration and Experimentation

A basic element of the FinTech infrastructure is having physical spaces that facilitate collaboration and partnerships among different players.

Just last week, we saw the launch of LATTICE80, Singapore’s first FinTech innovation village.

  • LATTICE80 offers dedicated physical space in the heart of Singapore financial district for FinTech start-ups to work, connect, and co-create with the financial industry and VC investors.

More than 20 global FIs have set up innovation centres here.  You would have seen during the Innovation Lab Crawl earlier this week some of the exciting things they are experimenting with:

  • digital health solutions tapping on wearable devices;
  • telematics for motor insurance;
  • blockchains to streamline payments;
  • big data to produce customised service offerings.

MAS itself has set up an innovation lab – called Looking Glass. It aims to:

  • spur collaboration among MAS, FIs, start-ups, and technologists; and
  • facilitate consultations for start-ups by industry experts on legal, regulatory, and business-related matters.

Infrastructure for Electronic Payments: UPOS, CAS

We have a world-class infrastructure for electronic payments.

  • It is a 24/7, real-time inter-bank fund transfer system.
  • We call it FAST; short for Fast and Secure Transfers.
  • But FAST is grossly under-utilised and Singapore is still heavily dependent on cash and cheques as means of payments.

The Association of Banks in Singapore is working on two key initiatives to make electronic payments seamless and convenient for everyone.

  • First, a Central Addressing Scheme (CAS) that will allow you to pay anyone using that person’s mobile number, national ID number, email address, or any other social media address, without the need to know the recipient’s bank or bank account number.
  • Second, a Unified Point-of-Sale (UPOS) terminal that will allow a merchant to accept all major card brands, including those that are contactless or embedded in smartphones.

A National KYC Utility

Knowing the identity of a customer – or KYC – is one of the biggest pain points in the financial industry.

  • The process is costly and laborious, and hugely duplicative.
  • The pain is pervasive because KYC and identity authentication are involved in so many financial services, from opening a bank account to making a payment to making an insurance claim.
  • We need an infrastructure solution to this problem.

Singapore is in the process of creating a national KYC utility.

  • Now, obviously this involves several layers of identity verification depending on the purpose of the transaction, the extent of information involved, and the degree of rigour required.

The basic building block is the MyInfo service, jointly developed by the Ministry of Finance and GovTech, the lead agency for digital and data strategy in Singapore.

  • MyInfo is a personal data platform, containing government-verified personal details, e.g. the national ID number, residential address, and so on.
  • MyInfo enables residents to provide their personal data just once to the government, and retrieve their personal details for all subsequent online transactions with the government.

MAS is partnering MOF and GovTech to embark on a pilot that will expand the MyInfo service to the financial industry for more efficient KYC using trusted government collected personal data.

  • No more tedious form-filling and providing hardcopy documents for manual verification by the FI.
  • No more data entry errors.  Higher productivity for the FI and greater convenience for customers.
  • The government will run a MyInfo pilot with two banks in Q1 2017, before scaling it up to other FIs progressively.· And beyond MyInfo, we have to think of more advanced forms of KYC for more sophisticated use cases.

A Blockchain Infrastructure for Cross-Border Interbank Payments

Another big pain point is cross-border interbank payments.

  • Today, banks have to go through correspondent banks to intermediate these payments.  It takes time and adds to cost.

MAS, the Singapore Exchange, and eight banks have embarked on a proof-of-concept project to use blockchain technology for inter-bank payments, including cross-border transactions in foreign currency.

  • This effort is supported by the R3 blockchain research lab and BCS Information Systems

Under the pilot system, banks will deposit cash as collateral with the MAS in exchange for MAS-issued digital currency. The banks can later redeem the digital currency for cash.

  • Participating banks can pay each other directly with this digital currency instead of first sending payment instructions through MAS.
  • This is an improvement over current large-value payment systems that are centrally operated. It strengthens resilience and lowers cost.

The banks also have the option of using the existing common payments gateway provided by BCS Information Systems to transact on the blockchain.

  • The banks need not rewrite their back-end systems.
  • This practical capability rides on the advances made by OCBC Bank in its recently announced inter-bank payments pilot.

This project marks the first step in MAS’ exploration of ways to harness the potential of central bank issued digital currency.

  • The next phase of the project will involve transactions in foreign currency, possibly with the support of another central bank.

An Open API Architecture

And saving the best for the end: creating an API economy.

  • APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, are likely to be one of the most important building blocks for innovation in the future economy.

APIs are basically a set of protocols that define how one system or application interacts with another, usually from the perspective of information exchange.

  • They allow systems to interact with one another without the need for human intervention.
  • Publishing these APIs allows FIs to collaborate with external users to:- seamlessly merge multiple data sets from different sources into an integrated rich data set; and- deliver more functional and customised solutions faster and cheaper.

MAS aims to establish Singapore as a centre of excellence for APIs on financial services.

  • We are actively pushing FIs to develop and adopt APIs, and to offer as many of them as possible to the broader community.
  • APIs are the essential ‘plumbing’ – the pipes – that enable the connections and collaborations that foster innovation.

The financial industry has come together, in partnership with MAS and the Association of Banks in Singapore, to develop guidance on APIs.

  • I am pleased to announce that we will publish today what we call the “Finance-as-a-Service API Playbook”.

The API Playbook provides guidance on common and useful APIs that FIs could make available. For instance:

  • Many of us struggle today to track and use our rewards points on our credit cards issued by various banks before they expire.
  • Imagine if the banks publish their ‘rewards points’ suite of APIs, a single aggregator app could be developed that allows us to enquire and redeem points directly with merchants and service providers.

The Playbook also provides guidance for the standardisation of APIs.

  • The industry has come up with standards for information security, data exchange, and governance mechanisms.
  • Having common standards will help promote greater data sharing and interoperability.

The API Playbook is an important milestone in our FinTech journey.

  • Some of our FIs are announcing their API initiatives over the course of this week. So watch this space.
  • Not to be outdone, MAS published last week 12 APIs for its most heavily used data sets.  We will progressively expand the list.


Let me conclude by saying a few words about the larger picture behind what we are trying to do in FinTech.

We talk a lot about technology but it is really about fostering a culture of innovation.

  • In an industry facing the headwinds of lower economic growth and heavier regulatory burdens, innovation must be the way to refresh and re-energise the business model.
  • And innovation is not always about high-tech. It is about seeking newer and better ways to do things, about a spirit of enterprise.  It is about hope in the future. The financial industry needs that.

And let us not forget the purpose of innovation. We want to create a Smart Financial Centre:

  • because we want to increase efficiency – to do things cheaper, better, faster;
  • because we want to manage our risks better – to keep our system safe and sound;
  • because we want to create new opportunities – to generate growth and good jobs;
  • and most of all, because we want to improve people’s lives – to provide them better services, to help them realise their goals.

Innovative finance must be purposeful finance.