Hong Kong Investment Institute Launching Training Program for Digital Asset Traders

An advanced report issued by the Hong Kong Securities and Investment Institute (HKSI) revealed that the regulatory agency plans to train crypto entrepreneurs in the region. The proposed training aims at supporting the country to become a crypto hub, unlike other jurisdictions adopting restrictive measures on digital assets.

According to the report, the HKSI is under the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) supervision. It was reported that all crypto exchanges in Hong Kong obtain their license from the SFC.

Importance of Digital Asset Trainings 

Under the new regulation, the SFC requires traders and virtual asset operators to comply with the licensing requirements before June 2024. Failure to meet the SFC licensing requirements, the market regulators will take legal action against the non-compliant firm.

Since 1997 the HKSI has supported the Hong Kong regulators in training traders and crypto firms on investment, securities, and compliance matters. The HKSI team has been facilitating licensing examinations for brokerage and asset management firms in Hong Kong. Every year around 30000 traders and businesses are enrolled for the HKSI examination.

In an exclusive interview with the chair of HKSI, Colin Shaftesley, he confirmed that the regulatory agency plans to introduce several training programs and workshops on virtual assets. The training aims to equip interested individuals with in-depth knowledge of digital assets.

In his statement, Shaftesley remains optimistic that the planned training program will substantially impact the traders and businesses. He observed that millennials and young adults have recently gained interest in virtual assets, which will promote growth of crypto industry.

Scope of the Digital Asset Training

Besides the proposed training, Shaftesley noted that the virtual assets sector in Hong Kong is well-regulated. He added that existing regulation of the virtual assets industry has supported restoring customer confidence and enabled firms to promote their products comfortably.

Surprisingly the HKSI and SFC will work closely during the upcoming training and licensing examination. It was reported that after the HKSI has completed training the interested candidates, the SFC will decide when the initial assessment will take place. Unlike previous training, the HKSI team will introduce a wealth management program to support family businesses and attract new investors.

In October, the famous Hong Kong politician and chief executive John Lee Ka-Chiu announced that the country plans to create a friendly environment to attract more than 200 family businesses. Most of the existing family business are from wealthy families who intends to invest their resources and manage their wealth.

Among the best-performing family businesses in Hong Kong have joint efforts with banks, legal entities, tax firms, and fund managers to seek first-hand information on ways to uphold compliance and maximize the business’ profitability.

Factors Contributing to High Enrolment Numbers

Earlier, Lee Ka-Chiu mentioned that the Hong Kong wealth management sector had initiated a purposeful move to attract new talents. The 5th chief executive asserted that the wealth management sector has liaised with the government to offer students internship opportunities.

He explained that wealth management firms are provided with financial support that caters interns’ incentives through the government-funded initiative. This program aims at onboarding more talents to the asset management sector, which is in line with the country’s national strategy.

Elsewhere the chairman of HKSI confirmed that there had been noticeable changes in the market for the last 25 years. Shaftesley noted that the Hong Kong market has become more diversified and sophisticated. He observed that the training demands and needs have also changed.

Reflecting on the training offered between 1988 and 2000, Shaftesley noted the high demand for courses on legal and compliance matters. Recently, the Hong Kong investors have demonstrated an interest in fintech, risk management, investments, risk financing, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) courses.

In his report, Shaftesley recognized that most candidates prefer online classes to physical lessons. This implies that the mode of delivery changed after the COVID-19 pandemic when the Hong Kong authority implemented restrictive measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Even though the pandemic had minimal impact on the HKSI training and examination, the enrolment number was slightly higher. It was reported that enrolments jumped by 7% from 2019 to 2023.

Shaftesley argued that since the launch of the advanced learning platform, the enrolment level has experienced a modest increase. From September 2023, the HKSI team is working on launching an online examination platform to allow candidates to take remote licensing exams.

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