Cayman talks up FinTech on Hong Kong trip

Financial Services Minister Tara Rivers, far right, speaks as part of a panel on FinTech innovation in Hong Kong Wednesday. Joining Minister Rivers on the panel are, from left, Sui Yang Phang, managing partner of Nest, Jean Claude Farah, executive vice president and president of Global Payments for Western Union, Alex Kong, TNG FinTech Group founder and chairman, and Dr. Vivek Ramachandran, head of Growth and Innovation, Global Commercial Banking, HSBC.

The rapidly changing international financial services industry took center stage early Wednesday at the U.K.-sponsored Great Festival of Innovation in Hong Kong with Cayman representatives making their pitch for the new investment technologies.

FinTech, or Financial Technology, encompasses a number of new service delivery methods in financial services looking to compete with established businesses, such as those that exist in the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong and other offshore financial centers.

“FinTech is disrupting the financial services industry with a range of new technologies,” said Cayman’s Financial Services Minister Tara Rivers during a Wednesday panel discussion on FinTech futures. “The race is on to develop not just the systems and services that will shape the future of buying, trading, lending and the flow of capital, but also the legislation that will govern it.

“The Cayman Islands, as one of the major financial centers in the world, needs to continue to be innovative and adaptable, creating the environment to facilitate a rapidly changing global financial system.”

Premier Alden McLaughlin, who is also participating in the four-day conference in Hong Kong, said Wednesday that three conferences held in Cayman so far this year, including the Alternative Investment Summit and a blockchain currency conference, had a “FinTech focus.”

“I believe we are well positioned to serve as the jurisdiction of choice for a new breed of financial services business whose innovations are changing the traditional face of the financial sector,” Mr. McLaughlin said.

A number of government members, including Mr. McLaughlin, Ms. Rivers, Health Minister Dwayne Seymour and Commerce Minister Joey Hew are in Hong Kong, invited as guests of the U.K. government for the innovation festival, one of several British government trade shows being held around the world since early 2017.

The festival is seen locally as an opportunity to showcase Cayman Islands businesses, particularly in the financial services industry.

The festival is part of the U.K. Department of International Trade’s effort to promote British businesses and industries, which began in January 2017. Cayman has been invited to participate as a British Overseas Territory.

According to a department press release issued last year: “Declaring to global investors that the U.K. is open for business, this campaign showcases the strength of the U.K. as a leading investment and business destination, in the financial services, life science sector and sustainable energy industry.”

The health services industry will be featured Thursday at the conference, where Health City Cayman Islands founder Dr. Devi Shetty will speak to attendees.

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