Melbourne Law School
Thursday 11 April 2019
Room 920, Level 9
1:00PM - 2:00PM


About the seminar

Access to finance, financial inclusion and financial sector development have long been major policy objectives. A series of initiatives have aimed to increase access to finance and financial inclusion, but these have accelerated in the last decade as technological developments combined with strategic policy support show potential for progress beyond anything that has been achieved. The World Bank’s 2017 Global Findex shows that in the last three years, 515 million adults acquired a financial account, and between 2010 and 2017, 1.2 billion people opened an account with a formal financial institution or mobile financial services provider (including mobile money) for the first time. This is impressive progress by any measure, but much remains to be done: as of 2017, 1.7 billion people 16 years or older still did not have access to an account, some 31 percent of the world’s adult population.

In this presentation, Professor Arner will argue that to reap the greatest benefits for financial inclusion and maximize the potential of FinTech, a framework that supports infrastructure and an enabling policy and regulatory environment, built on a strong foundation of digital identification and electronic payment systems, will support much broader digital financial transformation. The full potential of FinTech for financial inclusion may be realized with a strategic framework of underlying infrastructure and an enabling policy and regulatory environment to support digital financial transformation.

This seminar is a collaboration between the Global Economic Law Network, the Centre for Corporate Law and the Transactional Law Group at Melbourne Law School.

About the presenter

Douglas W. Arner is the Kerry Holdings Professor in Law at the University of Hong Kong and one of the world’s leading experts on financial regulation, particularly the intersection between law, finance and technology. At HKU, he is Faculty Director of the Faculty of Law’s LLM in Compliance and Regulation, LLM in Corporate and Financial Law and Law, Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (LITE) Programmes. He is a Senior Visiting Fellow of Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne, an Executive Committee Member of the Asia Pacific Structured Finance Association, and an independent non-executive director of the Nasdaq-listed Aptorum Group.

He led the development of the world’s largest massive open online course (MOOC): Introduction to FinTech, launched on edX in May 2018, now with over 35,000 learners spanning every country in the world. From 2006 to 2011 he was the Director of HKU’s Asian Institute of International Financial Law, which he co-founded in 1999, and from 2012 to 2018, he led a major research project on Hong Kong’s future as a leading international financial centre.

He was an inaugural member of the Hong Kong Financial Services Development Council, of which he was a member from 2013-2019. Douglas served as Head of the HKU Department of Law from 2011 to 2014 and as Co-Director of the Duke University-HKU Asia-America Institute in Transnational Law from 2005 to 2016. He has published fifteen books and more than 150 articles, chapters and reports on international financial law and regulation, including most recently Reconceptualising Global Finance and its Regulation (Cambridge 2016) (with Ross Buckley and Emilios Avgouleas). The RegTech Book (forthcoming 2019, with Janos Barberis and Ross Buckley).

His recent papers are available on SSRN, where he is among the top 150 authors in the world by total downloads. Douglas has served as a consultant with, among others, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, APEC, Alliance for Financial Inclusion, and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and has lectured, co-organised conferences and seminars and been involved with financial sector reform projects around the world.