With the aim of supporting capacity building and talent development for banking professionals, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has been working together with the banking industry to introduce an industry-wide competency framework - "Enhanced Competency Framework (ECF) for Banking Practitioners" in Hong Kong.
Since the implementation of ECF in 2018, various programmes for different job functions in banking industry have been developed and integrated into The Hong Kong Institute of Bankers' ("HKIB") flagship Certified Banker (CB) Programme which offer generalist, specialist, and strategic topics. The rationale for putting all programme under one professional banking qualification is to promote an industry-based common qualifications benchmark. While ECF programmes offer "role-based" knowledge and certification to relevant practitioners, CB is offering a vocational qualification pathway for further career advancement, being continuously enhanced to nurture more holistic banking professionals and ultimately, supporting the industry to develop a continuous learning culture and a sustainable talent pool so as to maintain the competitiveness of Hong Kong as an international financial centre.
The Enhanced Competency Framework on Retail Wealth Management (hereinafter referred to as “ECF-RWM”) is a non-statutory framework which sets out the common core competences required of retail wealth management practitioners in the Hong Kong banking industry. The objectives of the ECF-RWM are twofold:
(a) to develop a sustainable talent pool of retail wealth management practitioners for the banking industry and
(b) to raise and maintain the professional competence of retail wealth management practitioners in the banking industry.
Although the ECF-RWM is not a mandatory licensing regime, authorised institutions (“AIs”) are encouraged to adopt it for the following purposes:
(a) to serve as a benchmark to determine the level of competence required and assess the ongoing competence of individual employees;
(b) to support relevant employees to attend training programmes and examinations that meet the ECF-RWM benchmark;
(c) to support the continuing professional development of individual employees; and
(d) to specify the ECF-RWM as an industry-recognised qualification including for recruitment purposes.
Scope of Application
The ECF-RWM is intented to apply to “Relevant Practitioners” (PRs), including new entrants and existing practitioners, engaged by AIs to perform the following roles in retail wealth management function:
Role 1 –
Frontline Customer Relationship and Retail Wealth Management
Role 2 –
Risk Management and Control
(Staff who assume frontline retail wealth management roles and additional risk management duties as supervisors)
• Promote insurance and financial products to retail customers
• Deliver investment, insurance or wealth management services to retail customers, taking into account customers’ circumstances
• Oversee policies, procedures and controls for suitability assessments and selling practices
• Supervise Know Your Customer (KYC) processes and review customer risk profiling
Remark: Under the ECF on RWM, KYC processes refer to those aiming at understanding the risk profiles of customers and assessing the suitability of financial products rather than mitigating the risk of money laundering or financing of terrorism.
Details of the respective roles are classified by a two-level qualification structure namely Core Level and Professional Level. Please refer to Highlights of Competencies for Key Roles of Relevant Practitioners in Retail Wealth Management for details.
The competency standards of ECF-RWM are set at two levels:
(a) Core Level – applicable to entry-level staff responsible for carrying out frontline customer relationship and retail wealth management duties
(b) Professional Level – applicable to staff who are able to discharge frontline customer relationship and retail wealth management duties on their own or assume additional risk management and control duties as supervisors.
Relevant Practitioners may apply to HKIB for certification as Associate Retail Wealth Professional (ARWP) or Certified Retail Wealth Professional (CRWP) with HKIB professional membership under the following conditions:
(a) ARWP – A Relevant Practitioner may apply to the HKIB for the Professional Qualification if he or she (1) has completed the training modules and passed the examination for the Core Level or (2) has been grandfathered based on the required work experience and qualification upon the launch of the Core Level training modules.
(b) CRWP – A Relevant Practitioner may apply to the HKIB for the Professional Qualification if he or she (1) has completed the training modules and passed the examination for the Core and Professional Levels and has at least 2 years of relevant work experience or (2) has been grandfathered based on the required work experience and qualification upon the launch of the Professional Level learning modules. The two-year relevant work experience required for CRWP certification should be accumulated within the four years immediately prior to the date of application for certification, but does not need to be continuous.
(1) Training and Examinations
The Core Level of the ECF on RWM consists of 4 modules, providing new entrants and staff with an introduction to Retail Wealth Management. Eligible candidates may apply for exemption from completing individual training module.
The Professional Level of the ECF on RWM aims to develop the knowledge of more experienced practitioners. This level of qualification can be achieved by completing Modules 5 to Module 7 of the ECF on RWM learning programme on top of the Core Level training module.
Candidates must first complete the training modules then proceed to th examinations. After passing the examination in all modules, candidates would be awarded the " Professional Certificate for ECF on Retail Wealth Management (RWM)".
Relevant Practitioners who have been grandfathered are eligible to be certified as ARWPs or CRWPs. Please refer to the “Guidelines of ECF on RWM Grandfathering” for details on grandfathering eligibility criteria and requirements. Relevant Practitioners can apply for certification upon approval in one-off grandfathering. (The grandfathering period ended on 31 December 2018).
For other individuals performing RWM roles but not working in an AI during the grandfathering period, they may submit their applications to the HKIB for grandfathering within three months from the date of joining the RWM job function of an AI and becoming Relevant Practitioners. However, they should have met all the applicable grandfathering criteria on or before the applicable dates prescribed above.
(3) Registration of ARWP/CRWP
ARWP and CRWP holders are registered as Certified Individuals and included in the public register on the HKIB website. Upon successful application for ARWP/CRWP certification, HKIB will grant the ARWP/CRWP holder a professional membership. Details please refer to "Guidelines of Certification Application for ARWP/CRWP".
Certification of ARWP and CRWP is subject to annual renewal by HKIB. ARWP and CRWP holders are required to meet the annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements and pay an annual certification fee to renew their ECF on RWM certification. For details, please refer to CPD Requirements section below.
For both the ARWP and CRWP holders, a minimum of 10 CPD hours is required for each calendar year (ending 31 December). Any excess CPD hours accumulated within a particular year cannot be carried forward to the following year.
At least 3 CPD hours out of the 10 CPD hours must be earned from activities related to topics of compliance, code of conduct, professional ethics or risk management.
|Per Calendar Year
|- Minimum CPD hours from topics of compliance, code of conduct, professional ethics or risk management
|At least 3
|Remaining CPD Hours related to banking and finance or the job function:
(a) banking and financial knowledge
(d) legal principles
(e) business and people management
(f) language and information technology
(g) subject areas covered in HKIB professional examinations
|Minimum Total CPD Hours
Activities qualifying for CPD include:
(a) Attending seminars or courses provided by AIs, professional bodies, academic and training institutions, and the HKIB;
(b) Sitting professional examinations;
(c) Self-study through e-learning (with assessment);
(d) Delivering training and speeches; and
(e) Writing on wealth management or related disciplines for publication.
No CPD is required in the year when the ARWP/ CRWP Certification is granted. The CPD requirement starts in the following calendar year.
Training and Examination for ARWP/CRWP
Candidates must first complete the training modules then proceed to the examinations. After passing the examinations in all modules, candidates would be awarded the “Professional Certificate for ECF on Retail Wealth Management (RWM)”.
The module outlines are as follows:
Regulatory Environment for Banking and Financial Planning
Essentials of Banking
Insurance and Retirement Planning
Investment and Asset Management:
Investment and Asset Management:
Alternatives and Wealth Solutions
Financial Planning and Wealth Management
Please refer to programme brochure and Programme Handbook- ECF on RWM for details.
Training and Examination Enrolment
Applicant should complete and sign the Application Form together with the appropriate training and/or examination fee, and return by email, or by hand to HKIB Office on or before the corresponding enrolment deadline.
Late training enrolment will be accepted after the stipulated application deadline up to 7 days before course commencement to allow us to administer the application. A late entry fee of HKD200 (in addition to the training fee) will apply.
Late examination enrolment will be accepted after the stipulated application deadline up to 14 days before examination date, to allow us to administer the application. A late entry fee of HKD200 (in addition to the examination fee) will apply.
Training Duration Per Module
15 Hours* (per module)
HKD4,200 (per module) #
*15-hour is set as the standard training duration for each module. If you have any special request and situation for a different training duration, please contact HKIB staff for details.
# A digital version of Study Guide and PPT Slides will be provided before the training commencment. Printed version will only be available at an additional cost of HKD600 (including delivery fee) on request by learners.
1 - 6
Part A: Paper-based Examination
Part B: Case and Oral Examination
2 hours 30 minutes
Part A: 1 hour 15 minutes
Part B: 2 hour 15 minutes
Multiple-choice Questions (MCQs)
Part A: MCQs
Part B: Case study and Oral Examination
No. of Questions
Part A: 40-50 MCQs
Part B: 1 Case study
First attempt: HKD1,100 per module
First Attempt: HKD1,150
Re-sit Part A: HKD1,150
Re-sit Part B: HKD1,150
^ HKIB student members can enjoy 25% off training fee discount and 50% off examination fee discount respectively.
The Programme is open to members and non-members of the HKIB. Candidates must fulfill the stipulated minimum entry requirements:
• Students of Associate Degree (AD)/Higher Diploma (HD) in any discipline (QF L4); OR
• Equivalent qualifications or above; OR
• Mature applicants* with at least 3 years of relevant banking experience with recommendations from employer.
*Mature applicants (aged 21 or above) who do not possess the above academic qualifications but with relevant banking experience and recommendation from their employers will be considered on individual merit.
Please refer to training and examination schedule for details.
Candidates holding the following qualifications may apply for Modules 1, 2 or 4 exemption of "Professional Certificate for ECF on Retail Wealth Management (RWM)".
|Module to be exempted
|Eligible Qualification(s) for claiming exemption
|Module 1 -
Regulatory Environment for Banking and Financial Planning
|- SFC Licensing Examination Paper 1
|Module 2 -
|- SFC Licensing Examination Paper 7 & 8
|Module 4 -
Insurance and Retirement Planning
|- Insurance Intermediaries Qualifying Examination (IIQE) Papers “I, II and III” or “I, III and V”
Please refer to "Module Exemption Application Form" for more details.
Integration of ECF in Certified Banker (CB)
Certified Banker (CB)
Certified Banker (CB) is a new professional banking qualification programme developed and offered by HKIB. This common qualification benchmark is intended to raise the professional competency of banking and financial practitioners in Hong Kong to meet modern demands, while providing a transparent standard with international recognition. Individuals who have completed the ECF on RWM programme and obtained a pass at the relevant examinations are eligible to articulate to study for CB (Stage II) programme. Candidates can then apply for an exemption for the elective module “Financial Planning” of the CB (Stage II) programme.
Please click here to learn more about CB.
Enquiry / Feedback
(852) 2153 7800
Please click HERE to view the schedule in PDF.