Some 270,000 financial services professionals work in Hong Kong, which translates into a deep fintech talent pool. But it is not only the volume of talent that counts. The city provides a vast supply of diverse and skilled manpower, particularly when it comes to fintech expertise.
“We are able to access a lot of crypto industry financial talent here … which is why we chose Hong Kong to be one of our frontline offices,” says Toya Zhang, deputy chief operating officer at cryptocurrency exchange AAX. “We want to attract global users on our platform, and Hong Kong’s advantage is the mixed culture of talent – people with backgrounds from across Asia, the US, Europe and Australia, which helps extend our global reach.”
Then there’s the access to funding and support that Hong Kong offers. The city has a diverse funding landscape for start-ups, involving both the public and private sectors, with venture funding on offer for scale-ups. Hong Kong has the second-largest private capital pool in the Asia-Pacific region, after mainland China, attracting over HK$170 billion (US$21.85 billion) in funding last year, according to private equity and venture capital firm AVCJ.
Meanwhile, the thriving Greater Bay Area (GBA) offers exciting opportunities for fintech companies looking for new markets. Initiatives such as the cross-border Wealth Management Connect, which launched in September, could be crucial for mainland financial players who wish to gain a foothold in Hong Kong.
“From an HSBC point of view, we see this as a really important trend, given that the Greater Bay Area has 86 million people and is an economic powerhouse,” says Dan Roberts, global head of business banking at HSBC Commercial Banking. “Our research projects that the Greater Bay Area GDP will grow to around US$4.6 trillion by 2030, which Hong Kong is very well positioned to tap into.”