5Th Annual SKBI conference 2015
on "digital banking, financial
inclusion and impact investing"
Conference 2015

6 and 7 May 2015
8:30am - 5:30pm
Mochtar Riady Auditorium

Presented by the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics at SMU 


Traditionally, Financial Inclusion, such as P2P lending, Crowdfunding and micro-insurance, and Impact Investing are seen as the investment universe for those engaging in corporate social responsibility and not a mainstream activity. However, recent exodus of high-level bankers and "strats" to FinTech companies have increased the awareness of the disruption and opportunities in Digital Banking, Internet Finance, Blockchain and Consensus Ledgers. The listing of Lending Club that raised US$870 million last year has heightened concerns that the use of smart data from Internet and mobile wallet will begin to further threaten the profit margins of traditional banks, which already have been disrupted by Alibaba's Ants Financial (Alipay) and Safaricom's M-PESA. As a consequence of QE and after the steep run up of real estate and commodity prices, investors have also been searching for asset classes that exhibit negative correlation with the market. We are predicting for the next five years, alternative finance will be an area worthy of attention. Investors and financial institutions seeking for profit opportunities and higher return on equity in a low-growth environment flushed with liquidity will do well to take advantage of the digital revolution.

In view of this development, the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (SKBI) at the Singapore Management University, led by a team of eminent experts and top-notch researchers who are pioneers in financial innovation and technology, will be hosting its 5th Annual Conference on the 6th and 7th of May 2015 on the theme of "Digital Banking, Financial Inclusion and Impact Investing".

On the first day of the conference, our lineup of keynote speakers includes Mr. Piyush Gupta (CEO, DBS), Professor Oliver Rui (Professor, CEIBS), Mr. Chris Skinner (Author of “Digital Bank: Strategies to launch or become a digital bank”) and Mr. Matthias Kröner (Executive Board, Fidor Bank). Issues to be addressed include the utilization of financial technology to reach the underbanked and the unbanked; and to choose investments which impact society in a meaningful way. These topics and more will be explored through keynote addresses and panel discussions engaging industry stakeholders including financial institutions, non-profit/charitable organizations, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and regulators. 

Chinese enterprises have been moving ahead in digital banking with the recent launch of two internet only banks, WeBank (Tencent) and MyBank (Alibaba). To understand the developments in China and how the region can learn from the Chinese experience, the second day of the conference will be conducted in Mandarin Chinese. Keynote speakers include Prof. Zhu Xiaoming (Director of Digital & Internet Finance Research Centre and Executive President of CEIBS), Mr. Loh Long Hsiang (Head of CEO Office, Standard Chartered Bank China) and Prof. David Lee (Director, SKBI). Key topics to be discussed in the panel sessions include: internet finance, its interactions with traditional banks and financing platforms such as P2P financing and crowdfunding.

The conference will be held on the 6th and 7th of May 2015 at the Mochtar Riady Auditorium at the SMU Admin Building, from 8:30am to 5:30pm. The first day events on 6th of May will be followed by a conference dinner featuring a speech by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Minister-in-charge of Smart Nation.

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