WeLab Bank, the virtual bank of Hong Kong’s FinTech firm WeLab Holdings Limited (WeLab), said Monday it has become the first virtual bank in Hong Kong licensed to offer digital wealth advisory services.

The bank said in a statement that having obtained the Type 1 (dealing in securities) and Type 4 (advising on securities) licenses from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (HKSFC), it soft launched its intelligent wealth solution GoWealth Digital Wealth Advisory (GoWealth) for selected customers, with the public launch scheduled for the near future.

According to the statement, GoWealth is WeLab Bank’s wealth management advisory solution which capitalizes on the investment expertise by asset management firm Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI).

The two industry pioneers announced a strategic collaboration early last year, aiming to combine their expertise in fintech and investment management, as well as their deep understanding about the financial needs and habits of Hong Kong people for the Bank to create a brand-new seamless intelligent wealth advisory experience for the city.

According to the statement, GoWealth will take a tailored goal-based approach to offer personalized intelligent advisory services to customers, seamlessly and intuitively through its mobile app.

Interested customers can now preview GoWealth’s interface and get a taste of the goal-setting flow in the WeLab Bank app. Other functions, such as investment advisory, transaction and goal management, will be open to all customers at the public launch.

“Although Hong Kong enjoys abundant wealth solutions options, according to the findings of a third-party survey, only 1/3 of locals have access to professional financial advice, indicating a substantial unmet needs of wealth management in the market. In view of this, WeLab Bank has leveraged fintech to fill up the gap in wealth management market by designing a personalized intelligent wealth management advisory solution for all, assisting customers to achieve financial goals with ease,” said KC Chan, Chairman of WeLab Bank.

WeLab Bank and AllianzGI believe that many Hong Kong people are not certain whether their saving and investment portfolios are effective, however, as they have no access to professional financial advice, easy-to-use wealth management platforms or wealth management tools with transparent charges, they can only resort to risk their financial planning by saving “blindly”, which may result in drifting further away from their financial goals.

“The momentum of saving and investment is significantly affected by the achievability of the financial goals. People should take a goal-based approach, breaking down a big goal into several smaller, easier goals. With persistence, everyone can build up a powerful habit of saving and investment, and achieve bigger goals step by step,” said Philip Tso, Head of Institutional Business for Asia Pacific at AllianzGI.

Tso also points out that goal-based digital wealth advisory solutions are in great demand in Hong Kong, according to the survey results, and this demand led WeLab Bank to team up with AllianzGI’s expertise in digital investment solutions, to help tackle the pain points of Hong Kong people and assist them to achieve their financial goals through GoWealth.

Welab Bank is a homegrown virtual bank licensed by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, and a wholly owned subsidiary of WeLab. WeLab provides a wide range of digital financial services with leading positions in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and Indonesia, with more than 50 million individual users and over 700 enterprise customers. It is backed by investors including Allianz, International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank Group), Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad, CK Hutchison’s TOM Group, and Sequoia Capital.

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