The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is reportedly partnering with a group of banks to establish the blockchain-based Trade Finance Platform (TFP). The TFP will be run by the monetary authority and seven initial partner banks – HSBC, Standard Chartered, BOC Hong Kong Holdings, Hang Seng Bank, Bank of East Asia, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, DBS Group Holdings. However, the system is expected to eventually connect at least 21 banks.
According to the Financial Times (paywall), the platform was designed by OneConnect, the FinTech arm of Ping An Group, a Chinese insurance and holding conglomerate. According to Jessica Tan, Ping An's deputy chief executive, the platform will expand access to trade finance for small companies.
The TFP will reportedly work in tandem with the Global Trade Connectivity Network (GTCN) – another blockchain project being developed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which was announced in October 2017. The HKMA and the MAS have a history of working on blockchain projects together.
Nelson Chow, the HKMA's chief fintech officer, told the Global Trade Review:
"The GTCN is in the design stage but the TFP is ready to launch in September. We're in regular meetings with banks, but it's important to bring other stakeholders into the ecosystem, the banks' customers. This is the next stage everywhere, for each bank involved in the project, to bring in customers and showing them the value proposition. The last thing we want is to have the platform ready, but there are no customers."
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has no announcement on its website about this project.