Hong Kong - KWM Advises On ZhongAn’s Successful Virtual Bank Licence Application.

Legal News & Analysis - Asia Pacific - Hong Kong- Banking & Finance - Regulatory & Compliance

5 April, 2019

 

King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) advised ZhongAn Virtual Finance Limited (ZAVFL) on its successful application for a virtual banking licence from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). 

 

ZAVFL marks one of the first three companies acquiring virtual banking licences in Hong Kong issued by the HKMA, the government authority in Hong Kong responsible for maintaining monetary and banking stability. ZAVFL’s licence took effect on 27 March 2019.

 

A seamless KWM Hong Kong and PRC team advised on various aspects of the virtual banking licence application, including regulatory issues, cybersecurity, privacy, corporate structuring, as well as the overseas direct investment approval process and anti-trust filings.

 

Prior to ZAVFL’s official launch of its virtual bank business, KWM will continue to advise on financial regulatory issues relating to the virtual bank’s establishment and operations, including digital onboarding, account documentation and any regulatory issues.

 

Commenting on this collaboration Hong Kong partner Minny Siu said, “Congratulations to ZhongAn for being the pioneer in launching virtual banking services in Hong Kong. This project involves the establishment of a new banking entity in Hong Kong with an innovative business model. This is a breakthrough for Hong Kong’s progression into smart banking and we are proud to be involved in this project.”

 

Richard Mazzochi, Head of Banking & Finance practice of KWM Hong Kongadded that “the launch of the virtual banking licences signals Hong Kong’s commitment to propelling innovation, one of the key pillars of our business model.” 

 

Stanley Zhou, Co-Head of Financial Institution & Finance of KWM said, “The successful delivery of this transaction demonstrates our strength in offering a one-stop-shop with international and PRC capabilities to address innovative finance and cross-border regulatory issues.”

 

Hayden Flinn, Co-Chief Executive of KWM Hong Kong added, “We have been assisting clients to set up virtual bank platforms since February 2018 and this success, along with our regulatory and fintech capabilities, will add value for future virtual bank applications in Hong Kong and the development of innovation and technology in the Greater Bay Area region.”

 

The KWM Hong Kong and PRC team advised ZAVFL in respect of Hong Kong and PRC laws. The Hong Kong team was led by partners Minny SiuRichard MazzochiHayden Flinn and Peter Bullock. The PRC team was led by partners Stanley Zhou and Chai Zhifeng.

金杜助力众安成功申请虚拟银行牌照

金杜律师事务所助力众安虚拟金融有限公司 (简称“众安虚拟金融”)成功完成虚拟银行牌照申请事宜,并获香港金融管理局(简称“金管局”)授予虚拟银行牌照以经营虚拟银行。

 

金管局是香港负责维持货币和银行体系稳定的政府机构,而众安虚拟金融作为首批在香港获金管局颁发虚拟银行牌照的三家公司之一,其牌照已于2019年3月27日生效。

 

金杜凭借两地团队无缝衔接的合作,在申请虚拟银行牌照过程中提供多方面的法律咨询服务,包括监管事项、网络安全、隐私保护、公司架构、海外直接投资审批程序和反垄断备案等。

在众安虚拟金融正式启动虚拟银行业务前,金杜团队会一直就虚拟银行的设立及运作提供金融监管方面的服务,包括数码开户、客户开户文件和监管问题等。

 

对于此项目,香港合伙人萧乃莹表示:“恭喜众安成为在香港率先开展虚拟银行业务的公司之一。此项目涉及在香港设立开展新型业务模式的新银行实体,对香港智慧银行的发展而言是一次重大突破,能够参与到这个项目中,我们感到很自豪。”

 

金杜香港办公室银行和融资部主管合伙人马绍基补充道:“虚拟银行业务的推出预示着香港推动创新的决心,也是我们业务策略的核心要素之一。”

 

金杜中国办公室金融机构与融资业务联席负责合伙人周昕表示:“该项目的成功完成体现了我们充分利用国际及内地资源,为创新金融及跨境监管事项提供一站式综合服务的优势。”

 

金杜香港联席首席管理合伙人范凯敦补充道:“自2018年2月以来,我们已助力多家客户就设立虚拟银行平台方面提供法律咨询,而此项目在我们监管及金融科技团队的支持下取得成功,也为日后在香港进行虚拟银行申请以及大湾区的创新科技发展提供了十分有价值的参考。”

 

金杜两地团队在此次项目中担任众安虚拟金融的香港法和中国法法律顾问。该项目的主办合伙人为香港办公室的萧乃莹马绍基范凯敦潘乐,以及上海办公室的周昕柴志峰