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RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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2 in 5 banks likely to pursue joint ventures to boost digitisation efforts

This will result in greater industry collaboration between banks and e-commerce players.

As banks in the Asia Pacific increasingly cite the implementation of their digital transformation programme as a key business priority, a survey from accounting and professional services firm EY revealed that 2 in 5 (43%) Hong Kong banks are likely to set up partnerships and joint ventures to achieve their respective digital banking goals.

“So, we are likely to see greater collaboration between Asia-Pacific banks and e-commerce or other technology platform players, particularly as open banking reforms progress in markets such as Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore,” said EY Global Banking and Capital Markets Deputy Sector Leader Jan Bellens.

Almost half (43%) of the banks plan to buy assets in core markets efforts amongst other initiatives to embrace digitalisation including developing partnerships with fintechs, investing in technology to reach customers and improving risk management.

Despite this proactive effort to embrace digitalisation, only 4% of banks in developed APAC markets which includes Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and Japan consider themselves as digital leaders as opposed to a higher average in North America (27%) and Europe (15%).

“Regardless, there is an obvious recognition among Asia-Pacific banks of the urgency of embracing digitalization, with 60% in the developed and 57% in the emerging Asia-Pacific markets aspiring to reach digital maturity by 2020, almost on par with the global average of 62%,” Bellens added. 

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