Hong Kong should provide comprehensive support to the financial technology sector rather than simply giving it money, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Monday.
Helping companies solve problems is more important than pouring cash into the sector, the report said, citing Shaul David, a specialist with the British Trade and Investment Financial Services Organisation.
David said Britain helps small and medium-sized enterprises get another chance at financing if they are denied bank loans given the rate of failure is above 50 percent.
“The UK government does not invest in financial technology firms but it helps in other ways,” David said.
The Hong Kong government has pledged to increase a HK$5 billion (US$645 million) allocation for the Innovation and Technology Fund.
However, the fund has received a lukewarm response from applicants due to its complicated approval process.
Hong Kong’s first peer-to-peer lender, WeLab, which supports financial technology companies, tapped Li Ka-shing’s Tom Group, United States venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and other private investors for US$20 million in financing.
“We considered applying for the [innovation and technology] fund but gave up because of the complicated process,” WeLab founder Simon Loong said.
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