Simon Loong

Simon Loong, founder and group CEO of fintech company WeLab, is on a mission to ensure access to financial services for everyone

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In 2013, Simon Loong co-founded fintech company WeLab, with the goal of using technology to solve the issue of financial inclusion. The only homegrown company to have been granted a virtual banking licence in Hong Kong from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, it has more than 50 million customers across the city, mainland China, and Indonesia, as well as over 700 enterprise customers. Loong believes, with technology, everyone should be able to access financial services, regardless of their family background or income.

“Financial freedom improves people’s lives. So we need to help people to get access—cheap, efficient access—to financial services,” Loong says. “What is stopping people from getting it right now is the cost. For example, if you live in a remote area, there is cost as you need to travel somewhere. In Hong Kong’s case, the cost to serve a customer [due to rent and staff salaries] is so high, so traditional banks always target high net worth individuals. But if the cost to provide fair and efficient financial services is zero, then anyone can get it ... And technology can be the solution to that.”

Other plans in the pipeline involve a wealth management product co-developed with Allianz Global Investors, as well as some patents for products designed to protect data privacy, which Loong believes is often overlooked.

As for the legacy he hopes he and WeLab will leave? “Impact. The impact of how the technology of better financial services can improve people’s lives on a large scale. We want everyone to be able to improve their lives. To achieve their aspirations, to achieve their dreams.”

Prior to founding WeLab in 2013, Simon spent 15 years in the retail banking divisions of Citibank and Standard Chartered. Simon has a Master of Science in Management (MSM) from Stanford Graduate School of Business and is a Fellow of Certified Public Accountant (Australia).

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The World Bank’s mission is to eradicate poverty. International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is a shareholder in WeLab as they support the company’s mission of using technology to solve financial inclusion 

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