Established in 1963, The Hong Kong Institute of Bankers (HKIB) is the first non-profit institution that provides training and certification services to the banking community in Hong Kong. Playing an important role in talent development in the local banking industry for more than five decades now, the Institute is also proud to be the first professional body in the territory to offer banking qualifications equivalent to a Master’s degree level.
Our mission is to enhance and sustain professionalism in banking. Over the years, the HKIB has helped hundreds of thousands of practitioners and young graduates who aspired to join the industry to equip themselves with essential banking skills and knowledge through a complete development pathway – from recognised professional qualifications to continuing development programmes. Select professional qualifications are recognised both in Hong Kong and overseas.
The HKIB also offers a comprehensive range of events, from networking activities, luncheons and seminars to conferences and forums. In this increasingly complex and challenging banking landscape, there is a strong need for current banking practitioners or potential joiners to keep abreast of the latest industry developments and build capacity.
To ensure the sustainable growth of banking talent, the HKIB has built relationships across borders by entering into memoranda of understanding or partnership agreements on the exchange of expertise and best practices with a number of professional bodies and regulators in Mainland China, Macau and overseas. We opened a representative office in Beijing, Mainland China in 2005 to encourage closer collaboration between the two markets. Our vision is not only to enhance the banking profession in Hong Kong; we also endeavour to develop a strong community of banking professionals across different territories and help set professional standards for the banking industry across the region.
As we look forward to a new year, I’d like to share with our Members a quick recap of our achievements in 2019 and our priorities for 2020. To be sure, 2019 was a year of uncertainty for Hong Kong. Globally, we witnessed a variety of macroeconomic developments, including the US-China trade war and the uncertainty surrounding; locally, we’ve been managing the impacts of the recent social incidents and recessionary pressures during the latter half of the year.
Despite the unexpected events and schedule disruptions, we have worked hard to maintain our commitment to professional standards of excellence. We have also acted to meet the expectations of our Members to remain competitive in an ever-changing banking environment.
Membership on the rise
In terms of Membership, we gained over 1,200 new Individual Members last year, making an increase by 22%. This growth was largely driven by the attractiveness to the banking community of the new ECF programmes, which were launched by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Moreover, the introduction of virtual banks in Hong Kong generated opportunities for the Institute to build relationships with the players in this sector. To date, all eight virtual banks which were granted the first batch of licenses have joined us as Corporate Members.
Member events reach new heights
In 2019, the number of events and regulatory initiatives we offered to our members totalled 58, involving over 8,800 participants. Our flagship Annual Banking Conference saw its highest attendance ever, featuring an unprecedented two CEO panels for virtual banks and traditional banks respectively. We started 2019 with our first ever government-sponsored cybersecurity conference, which was free for members. The conference included expert contributors from the UK and Hong Kong. This was followed by a noteworthy information-sharing seminar by Israeli cybersecurity specialist, The Floor.
Awards showcase the industry’s best
Our industry awards recognise the outstanding performance and raise the competency standards of Hong Kong’s banking sector. We introduced the Hong Kong Banking Industry Talent Development Awards Programme in 2019 to highlight transformative human resource practices in local banks; DBS won the inaugural Grand Award. For the fourth consecutive year, we were the Leading Organiser of the HKICT Awards – FinTech Award with CoverGo earning the coveted Grand Award. The Outstanding Financial Management Planner Awards have been held in Hong Kong and Mainland China for the past 13 years and 10 years, respectively. In 2019, there were more 100 contestants from 13 banks in Hong Kong and over 1,000 contestants from 54 banks in Mainland China, reflecting strong market recognition.
Talent development starts early
The development of the banking sector’s future talent pool was nurtured through a series of university campus visits and career days, as well as through the Qualifications Framework School Project, which introduced senior secondary school students to the banking industry. In total, we hosted seven events, which introduced 250 participants to the range of banking careers available today.
Elevating members’ professional qualifications
In the area of professional qualifications, we not only continued the ECF on Retail Wealth Management, but also launched the ECF on Credit Risk Management (Core Level) and Cybersecurity (Core Level) programmes in Hong Kong. Additionally, two new ECF on CRM (Core Level and Professional Level) programmes were accredited and will be introduced later this year; and a new ECF on AML/CFT programme was launched in Macao, following the signing of an MOU with The Macao Institute of Financial Services in 2018. We also introduced several CPD programmes to supplement our Professional Members’ ongoing skills development. Our professional qualification programmes catered to more than 4,400 candidates in 2019, a 63% increase over 2018. More than 7,600 candidates participated in the Institute’s non-professional qualification programmes.
Digital outreach was an effective tool for the Institute in 2019; we managed to grow our LinkedIn follower base by over 90%. In 2020, we plan to establish new outreach channels through our own mobile app, as well as through WeChat.
Going forward, to better serve our members and increase members’ accessibility to our training services, we intend to offer select training programmes via webinars. We also plan to expand the Institute’s offerings to Macao, as well as to other cities in the Greater Bay Area in the coming year.
Thank you for your support in 2019 and we look forward to achieving more with you in 2020.
Chief Executive Officer