Douglas Flint, the Chairman of HSBC, pointed out this week that regulators in China and elsewhere are increasingly considering regulating technology companies that provide financial services. Is there a difference betweeninternet companies providing banking services or just providing access to banking services?
As more technology companies offer financial services or help customers conduct payments it has raised questions on how far into banking firms like Apple (AAPL.O) and Alibaba (BABA.N) may go, and how far they should be regulated. "Regulators all around the world are reflecting on the extent to which Internet companies are conducting banking business and at which point they should be licensed as banks, or whether they are simply providing a payment mechanism or some kind of application that facilitates access to banking," HSBC Chairman Douglas Flint said late on Thursday. He said he expected most technology companies would partner with banks to avoid the cost and burden of compliance and regulation, such as 'know your customer', or KYC rules.