Banks are dying out in the face of new financial technology

Ben Hung, Regional CEO for Greater China and North Asia at Standard Chartered Bank, which has more than 150 years of history, said that a constant in the industry is what customers seek at a fundamental level.

"It's all about how they manage their money, invest their money and increase their money, and that basic need that I believe has not changed," Hung said during the same Wednesday panel in Hong Kong.

He stressed that the pace of technological development is now necessary to meet these demands, which he believes can intimidate.

"It's about how you can address some of these needs through technology in different ways, but it can also be quite scary given the uncertainty and speed with which technology is happening," he said.

"It's all very exciting, very, very daunting," said Hung, who is also the head of his bank for retail banking and wealth management.

Bird, on the other hand, said that the pace of investment in financial technology is an attention-grabbing move away from established companies toward new players.

"We see this provocation as very, very real, because it's the economy of the action," he said.

He said Citi has hired employees from companies like PayPal and Amazon who have the "mindset" needed to transform the bank.

It is also crucial that the bank is where its customers are. This increasingly means social media platforms like WeChat as well as Instagram and Facebook.

"So we have to integrate," he said.