Hong Kong issues guidelines for virtual banks

Written by Mark Evans

Hong Kong’s regulators have set up draft rules around virtual banks, with a minimum of HK$300 million (US$38.36 million) in capital, and restrictions on imposing a minimum account balance or low balance fees.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority will receive feedback on these guidelines until March 15, with final regulations issued in May.

Virtual banks – banks that only operate online and do not have a physical presence, will still need at least one physical office to handle complaints from customers.

The move is a significant opening up of Hong Kong, and potentially allows a rapid deployment of challengers and fintech into the territory, and a foothold in China.