10 Macau banks planning services under new GBA Wealth Management Connect scheme

A total of 10 Macau banks are currently planning to provide services under the new Wealth Management Connect scheme for the Greater Bay Area, with some having already applied to start as soon as this month, the South China Morning Post reported.

The scheme officially launched by Beijing a month ago allows Hong Kong and Macau residents to invest in onshore Chinese investment products through banks in the Greater Bay Area, while residents of nine cities in Guangdong province can invest in Hong Kong and Macau wealth products through local lenders.

According to the Monetary Authority of Macao, the scheme will create more investment demand in Macau and promote the development of more diversified investment products by the Macau financial institutions, while broadening the investment options of local residents.

Supervisory bodies in the mainland, the Macau SAR and the Hong Kong SAR have already established mechanisms for coordinating their work and communication to ensure smooth operation of the WMC pilot scheme.

Several Hong Kong banking groups including HSBC, Standard Chartered and Bank of East Asia, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Bank of China have all announced plans to launch Wealth Management Connect services in Hong Kong and mainland cities.

Consultancy Deloitte recently stated in a new white paper, that there is a need for improved connectivity and deeper financial cooperation among Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, and Macau SAR as more and more international financial institutions looking to establish or expand businesses in the Greater Bay Area.

The recently announced Hengqin Plan and Qianhai Plan also includes measures for advancing the reform and opening up of the financial market, with Hengqin introduce innovative cross-border financial management schemes, with the “line management” model set to expand Macau’s free port space while promoting economic diversification in the SAR.

The long-awaited guidelines for the development of the nearby Hengqin island were unveiled on September 5 underlining the Guangdong-Macau joint administration for the area and setting up four main focus areas that will assist with Macau’s economic diversification away from gaming, namely technology and high-end manufacturing, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), tourism and MICE, and finance.

The Master Plan mentions that the development of modern finance is an important breakthrough for the moderately diversified development of Macau’s economy, including the policy goal of “exploring the free inflow and outflow of cross-border capital and promote capital account convertibility in the cooperation zone.”