Hong Kong banks gear up to be cool, cheap and fight off challengers

Return on equity for leading Hong Kong banks ranges from 6.5% to 15%, versus 1.1-13.4% in Asia, 0.4-9.2% in Europe, and 8.6%-15.8% in the United States, as per Refinitiv data. “But we believe that banks, as well as the new virtual banks, will be sensible in pricing and discipline on financial management,” he said. The digital banks plan to begin by offering services such as savings accounts, credit cards, personal loans, foreign exchange and travel insurance. Hong Kong banks earn huge fees levied on retail banking services. “The branches are also more akin to Apple stores and are paper-less and hi-tech.”The virtual banks are, however, unlikely to grab a sizeable share from the traditional banks soon, analysts said.

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