Hong Kong banks should step up cybersecurity, shield prospects’ information as on-line scams multiply, warns business chief
Mary Huen Wai-yi, chairwoman of the Hong Kong Affiliation of Banks (HKAB), stated that as lenders have rolled out extra digital banking companies permitting prospects to conduct transactions on their computer systems or smartphones, so the dangers have multiplied.
Her issues are supported by figures from the Hong Kong Financial Authority (HKMA), town’s de facto central financial institution, which present cyberattacks on banks doubled final yr. On-line scams – together with false banking web sites, phishing emails and faux banking apps – reached 142 instances in 2018, a threefold enhance from the 44 reported incidents in 2017 and a giant leap from 35 a yr earlier than that.
“As banks have been launching extra fintech measures in recent times, it has grow to be extra handy for the shoppers nevertheless it has additionally introducing new kinds of danger. It is crucial for the banking sector to step up its danger administration to guard the pursuits of consumers,” Huen stated in an unique interview with the South China Morning Put up.
Phishing – sending out faux emails which appear to be official financial institution communications asking for purchasers’ info – was the fastest-growing cyber rip-off in Hong Kong final yr. There have been 62 reported instances, in comparison with simply seven in 2017, in keeping with the HKMA information.
A report final summer time on cybersecurity dangers for monetary establishments by IntSights, an IT safety agency, famous that “phishing kits”, which permit novice hackers to create elaborate phishing scams, might be bought on-line.
Although few cyberattacks are literally profitable, the native banking sector must take the risk severely and work laborious to guard their shoppers’ information, stated Huen, who can be the Hong Kong chief govt of Commonplace Chartered financial institution.
“It is crucial for the banking sector to step up danger administration to guard the pursuits of their prospects,” she stated.
“In Europe, there are already legal guidelines relating to how corporations ought to shield the non-public info of consumers who store on-line or use different on-line companies. Hong Kong can even want to review these points.”
The HKMA’s deputy chief govt, Arthur Yuen Kwok-hang, stated in a media briefing final month that the authority would start checking the flexibility of town’s banks to recuperate from a cyberattack.
HKMA lays out tips to assist banks in fintech push
In September 2017, it introduced seven measures to encourage banks to develop their fintech capabilities. The authority, Hong Kong’s de facto central financial institution, is because of subject the primary digital financial institution licence within the first quarter of this yr. Digital banks function on-line and don’t have any bodily branches.
Huen stated they’ll carry new power and new companies to the banking sector, and permit know-how corporations to enter the business. Commonplace Chartered Financial institution is among the many 29 candidates to use for a digital banking licence.
“Digital banks will concentrate on some new merchandise and segments the standard banks have a tendency to not concentrate on or supply. This may enhance monetary inclusion to some prospects who at present don’t use many banking companies,” stated Huen.
Huen is a veteran banker with 28 years of expertise. In Hong Kong, the pinnacle of the three note-issuing banks – HSBC, Commonplace Chartered Financial institution and Financial institution of China Hong Kong – take turns to be the chairman of the HKAB, and this yr is the flip of Commonplace Chartered.
Among the many challenges going through the banking business, she stated the commerce conflict between the US and China would proceed to gradual financial progress in Hong Kong and mainland China, resulting in a slowdown in mortgage progress. HKMA information for all Hong Kong banks confirmed mortgage progress of simply 4.Four per cent in 2018, in comparison with 16.1 per cent in 2017.
But Huen remained upbeat in regards to the prospects for Hong Kong’s lenders, due to the “Higher Bay Space” – the Chinese language authorities’s plan to create an financial hub by linking Hong Kong to Chinese language cities within the Pearl River Delta.
She stated lenders may revenue from the Higher Bay Space market of 70 million folks and likewise work with know-how corporations based mostly in Shenzhen to develop new fintech merchandise.