The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has announced it intends to create a global innovation network through special fintech labs based in Hong Kong and London. The new labs will follow the format set in Sydney where according to the bank in its first 18 months it has hosted over 40,000 guests and successfully developed a number of blockchain applications and collaborated with major Australian corporates, government organizations and universities to experiment with future technology.
Commenting on the launch, Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, group executive, institutional banking and markets, Commonwealth Bank said,
“Hong Kong’s highly developed financial sector, strong entrepreneurial culture and proximity to China makes it the optimal location for us to establish an innovation presence in Asia. The Hong Kong Lab will allow us to partner with the brightest minds across the city’s accelerator, government, university, start-up and fintech communities to further develop creative and innovative solutions for our clients.”
While a number of banks have launched innovation labs around the world and other industry players like Visa have launched labs in multiple international locations, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia may be the first bank to launch innovation areas in multiple global hotspots. Though the bank’s strengths may be in the Oceania area by launching fintech labs around the world, it won’t be limited to companies based on geography.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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