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Nurturing talent and more


Hong Kong is an international financial centre, facing keen competition in the market. Yet with the various core advantages of Hong Kong, including rule of law, system, talent and the huge Mainland market, multinational corporations and international capitals are attracted to raise funds, invest and operate in Hong Kong, facilitating the sustainable and vibrant development of Hong Kong’s financial and professional services.

However, we have to redouble our efforts to maintain our advantages and be ahead of others, especially in enriching our pool of talent. Besides having talent with operational expertise, we also need leaders equipped with international perspective, macroscopic insight on future development, adaptability and leadership.

With the above in mind, I proposed to set up an academy of finance in last year’s Budget. I am pleased to announce that, with the efforts made by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), other financial regulatory bodies and stakeholders, the opening ceremony of the Academy of Finance (AoF) will be held this Wednesday (26 June), followed by conferment of Fellowships to distinguished persons that make significant contributions to the financial sector in Hong Kong. Moreover, a number of world renowned financial leaders have accepted to be consultants and guest speakers for AoF. The list of names will be announced by AoF on Wednesday during the ceremony.

Leading by the HKMA, AoF will serve two key functions: (i) as a centre of excellence for promoting financial leadership development; and (ii) as a repository of knowledge and centre for monetary and financial research, in particular applied research in cross-sectoral areas. The existing Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research (HKIMR) will be revamped and expanded to undertake this function.

The establishment of talent pool must be comprehensive and multi-level. We have been promoting relevant trainings under different sectors to enhance the capacity of financial practitioners and make room for their career development.

In banking sector, the HKMA collaborated with relevant professional bodies to set up a common Enhanced Competency Framework (ECF) to facilitate the on-going and all rounded capacity enhancement for banking practitioners. Competency standards on private wealth management, anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism, cybersecurity, treasury management, retail wealth management and credit risk management have been launched since 2014. Competency standards on risk management and compliance are being prepared. By end December 2018, about 10 000 banking practitioners have obtained recognised certifications to meet ECF benchmarks in various professional disciplines.

For insurance sector, the Government launched a Pilot Programme to Enhance Talent Training for the Insurance Sector (Insurance Pilot Programme) from 2016. Industry players can apply subsidies to organise professional development programmes, including technical aspects and the latest international developments on regulation for the insurance industry. As at March this year, over 4 000 practitioners have taken courses under the Insurance Pilot Programme.

The asset and wealth management sector also has a similar funding programme. For example, after completing the designated courses under the programme, in-service practitioners will be reimbursed 80% of the eligible course fees, subject to a maximum of $7,000 over a three-year period. As at March this year, over 1000 practitioners have been benefitted.

On Fintech, the HKMA launched the Fintech Career Accelerator Scheme (FCAS) four years ago and upgraded it last year. In 2018/19, over 200 students participated in internship under four areas of FCAS (Cyberport University Partnership Programme, Shenzhen Summer Internship, Gap Year Placement and Fresh Graduate Job Programme). It is estimated that banks, operators of stored value facilities and HKMA will provide around 175 places in 2019/20 under the Gap Year Placement to provide opportunities for students to take part in Fintech projects.

We attach great importance to nurturing talent and value each and every people in Hong Kong. We together build Hong Kong as our home. In the past few weeks, the society was tired and stressed over the disputes relating to the legislative amendment exercise of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance. The atmosphere of the society has become tense and distrustful. In the past few days, Government officials offered their most sincere apologies for the deficiencies in the work over the amendment exercise, and the controversies, disputes and anxieties arising in the society. I believe most Hong Kong people are not willing to see conflict, fierce confrontation and disruption to public services again. Whatever stance and position we are holding, we are people of Hong Kong under the same roof. Grievances and suspicion will not bring us a better society. Under the leadership of the Chief Executive, the Government team will make improvement in earnest. It is our wish to start afresh, deliver our best for the people of Hong Kong, rebuild mutual trust and confidence, and safeguard and develop Hong Kong, the home that we love.

June 23, 2019