Wealth Connect Scheme loosens further

Hong Kong financial services firms are rushing to find new partners in the Greater Bay Area after a change in regulation that allows them to do so under the Wealth Connect Scheme, according to the SCMP.

When the details of the cross-border scheme were initially unveiled in June last year, they  restricted each financial institution to one partner. But now, a senior executive at Standard Chartered Bank says this has been relaxed and his bank is in discussion with several potential partners in Guangdong. HSBC and DBS Bank are also engaged in similar discussions.

The Wealth Connect Scheme will allow financial institutions to sell offshore wealth management products to investors in Guangdong and, similarly, onshore products to investors in both Hong Kong and Macau. These will be strictly limited by quotas; however, they are seen as cracking open the mainland’s tightly controlled forex market by allowing cross-border investing in products other than stocks and bonds.

No reason was given for the change. However, analysts have been commenting recently on China’s apparent desire to keep its recently rising currency in check, while also gradually increasing its role in international trade. International banks and other wealth-management service providers have been on hiring sprees in recent months in the region, partly because of opportunities being presented under this and other cross-border financial trading schemes.

Read more on SCMP

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