Fintech and financial regulation

In light of rapid technological advancement, financial institutions are using fintech to transform the way they provide financial services and manage their operations. For example, by applying the likes of artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing and big data in areas such as payments, clearing and settlement, lending, investment management, robo-advice, and much more.

However, the rapid development of fintech also comes with an increasing amount of regulatory scrutiny driven by increasingly intrusive and coordinated regulators. Non-compliance with such regulations can have serious consequences for both the business and those who work for them, meaning that users of fintech must ensure compliance with the ever-changing regulatory landscape.

Fintech innovators require clear and focused analysis from their legal advisers to understand the regulatory landscape in which they operate and the policy considerations that drive change within it.

Our expertise

We have a multi-disciplinary team across our international network and we regularly advise financial institutions, technology companies, start-ups and investors on legal and regulatory issues relating to the fintech sector. We help clients navigate the complex and evolving regulatory landscape beyond financial regulations and support them in many areas such as risk management, compliance, investigations and enforcement.

Our extensive experience and market knowledge gives us a comprehensive understanding of the issues that clients in the financial services sector face, and we are accustomed to the difficult and complex conversations with clients and regulators that arise from genuine innovation. We also maintain long-standing relationships with regulators and service providers, which translates into advice that is both commercially and legally sound.

Our expertise includes:

  • Financial services regulation: helping clients manage the impact of financial services regulation and identifying and addressing legal and regulatory risks arising from technical innovations and digitisation of financial markets and products.
  • Digitisation of financial products and services: advising clients on the digitisation and development of new platforms that provide wealth management, brokerage, lending, electronic payment systems and banking services. We work with wealth managers, securities brokers, lenders, banks, etc. We also provide asset managers with advice in respect of virtual asset funds. 
  • Fintech investment, fund-raising and corporate structuring: advising clients, such as fintech companies or potential investors, on their investments, capital raising options, acquisitions, joint ventures, restructuring (equity and debt) and divestments around the world. 
  • Cybersecurity and data protection: providing practical commercial advice to clients on open banking, data protection, cross-border data transfer, cybersecurity and cloud computing.
  • Cryptocurrency and blockchain: advising clients on innovative projects relating to blockchain and cryptocurrencies, such as offerings of tokenised assets, issuance of stablecoins, establishing a new cryptoasset and mining. 
  • Regulatory investigations and litigation: helping clients manage complex tech disputes and litigations and working with clients in engaging regulators and law enforcement agencies to support investigations and manage compliance risks. 


Financial services regulation

We help develop online investment, lending and payment platforms and advise on legal and regulatory issues at the design and inception stages with respect to new products and services. 

We have also helped set up and structure a new financial service business and its products and services. We obtained the necessary licences and approvals from regulators and provided ad-hoc and ongoing legal and compliance matters. 

We also advise on the regulation of crypto assets and the launch of virtual asset funds.

Virtual banking and payment services 

We advised clients on their applications to the HKMA for stored-value facility licences.

We are the law firm of choice for a number of virtual banks in Hong Kong and have advised on the open API framework for traditional banks as well. 

P2P secured lending and crowdfunding

We advised a licensed money lender on the structuring, set-up, and operation of an online P2P lending platform, the first of its kind in Hong Kong. 

Cryptocurrency and blockchain

We advised a provider of custody solutions for digital assets and a virtual asset borrowing/lending services provider on the regulatory licensing and authorisation requirements in Hong Kong. 

We also acted for the provider of a cryptocurrency exchange providing tokenization services and hot and cold wallet storage solutions on its application to the SFC for a licence to conduct regulated activities in Hong Kong. 

Online banking, investment and trade financing platforms

We advised numerous banks, securities brokers, investment management platforms and emerging fintech companies that operate online banking, securities trading, investment management and trade financing platforms on legal, regulatory and compliance issues and assisted them in the drafting of their standard documents and internal policies.