Hong Kong SAR - HKMA Latest Regtech Watch Looks at Covid-19 Responses

The latest issue of the HKMA’s Regtech Watch publication focuses on how technology adoption has enabled Authorised Institutions (AIs) to maintain business continuity and effectively respond to the various operational challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Regtech Watch is an ongoing newsletter published by the HKMA to promote the adoption of regulatory technology (Regtech) by the banking industry in Hong Kong SAR.

Issue Five of Regtech Watch looks at the following use cases:

  • Remote access and collaboration platforms: Highlighting the need to ensure system stability and business operational continuity as remote access is rolled out on a large scale, the HKMA notes the use of video conferencing solutions fortified with additional security settings and data storage on centralised and cloud-based data management solutions as potential solutions in this area.
  • Compliant business communication methods: As the pandemic has disrupted business as usual, there has been an accelerated increase in the use of alternative messaging systems (e.g. WeChat, WhatsApp). This has led to a need for solutions to continue to monitor communications in line with regulatory expectations. The HKMA highlights solutions such as all-in-one enterprise messaging platforms, which will record communications made through messaging systems and therefore allow bank employees to use the client’s preferred method of contact without requiring the client to install additional software.
  • Automating Covid-19 relief grants: One method highlighted is the use of robotic process automation (RPA) to perform time-consuming and repetitive work and streamline processes such as assessments of whether loans can be postponed under Covid-19 relief schemes.
  • Social-distancing and contact-tracing solutions: Although this may not be a strictly financial regulatory requirement, social-distancing obligations can be mandatory depending on the current phase of lift and suppress measures in action at any given time, and these will apply to AIs as employers as well. The HKMA highlights methods such as geo-tagging and electronic signals from employee devices to help senior management in making risk based decisions when responding to confirmed infection cases, but underlines that there must be support from employees for these approaches.