Lower fees, snazzy branches: Hong Kong banks gird for online-only onslaught

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Lower fees, snazzy branches: Hong Kong banks gird for online-only onslaughtHong Kong's biggest banks are set to cut fees, boost digital services and jazz up branches with features such as touch-screen display panels to meet competition from new online-only lenders in one of the world's most profitable banking markets. As many as eight so-called virtual, or online-only, banks are set to be launched in the Chinese territory this year, posing the biggest challenge in years to a stronghold for lenders including HSBC and Standard Chartered . The expected moves show how keen traditional banks are to protect their cash cows even with a short-term hit to their profits, at a time when their growth elsewhere faces hurdles due to an intensifying U.S.-China trade war.


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