Mid-sized bank offers the kind of opportunities larger rivals cannot match
Working for a mid-sized bank has its advantages. While large banks focus on specialisation from the outset, a mid-sized bank can offer opportunities for exposure in many areas.
This is one of the reasons why candidates are happy to join the Bank of East Asia (BEA), the largest independent local bank with 88 branches in Hong Kong, according to Mimi Kam, general manager and head of human resources and corporate communications division. BEA is also well established on the mainland, with one of the most extensive branch networks of any foreign bank, she adds.
“BEA has operated continuously in mainland China since 1920. Over the years, we have grown our mainland business and customer base, and today BEA stands out for many applicants interested in pursuing a career in the banking industry, with a particular focus on the dynamic mainland market,” Kam says.
The BEA Group currently employs more than 5,700 staff members in Hong Kong and is always seeking qualified candidates for various positions within the organisation.
In view of its extensive network of branches and SupremeGold Centres in Hong Kong, it regularly hires capable people to fill frontline positions to ensure that it can maintain a consistent level of service quality at every location, Kam adds.
The recruitment of management trainees is another priority for the bank, to groom future leaders as part of their succession planning.
Applicants should be passionate in developing their career in the banking industry and interested in working in a local bank that was incorporated in Hong Kong in 1918 and looks back to a history of almost a century.
“We seek candidates who are intelligent, mature, dedicated and have integrity,” Kam says, pointing out that one of the bank’s core values is “upholding integrity and honesty in everything we do”.
Other corporate values promote excellent service, such as professionalism, a “best-in-class” approach to work, customer focus in service delivery and an emphasis on product and service quality. A growth-oriented, forward-thinking attitude is also valued.
Candidates should have strong interpersonal and organisational skills to achieve high service standards in commercial and personal banking, wealth management and investment services. “We are also searching for good team players, who exhibit leadership and show initiative,” Kam adds.
The bank’s training and development department offers staff on-the-job and structured training for professional development. To address specific needs of each employee, the department also works closely with various departments to create tailor-made training programmes.
“Our performance management system, which measures performance against agreed-upon goals with specific performance standards, helps ensure the ongoing development of our staff,” Kam says.
Last year, the bank launched an e-learning platform, Learning@BEA, to facilitate continuous learning and reduce travel time to and from training centres.
BEA also runs a management training programme, in addition to a two-year programme for retail management trainees and one for operations trainees.
Benefits include the possibility of overseas posting to help employees get work experience in foreign countries. Depending on the needs of the individual and if job duties allow, employees may switch to part-time or contract roles.
The bank offers comprehensive medical and dental benefits, maternity and paternity leave, compassionate leave, birthday leave, marriage leave, and other benefits. Staff mortgage loans, overdraft facilities and personal loans are available at favourable rates.
BEA also provides facilities such as staff canteens, a library, a gymnasium, and a relaxing rooftop garden at the BEA Tower in Kwun Tong.
The bank organises seminars on work-life balance, managing stress and children’s development, as well as other support services.
“Our offices at the BEA Tower demonstrate our efforts to enhance the quality of life at work for our employees. Through innovation and improvements to the physical working environment on a variety of levels, we believe we have created a healthy and productive workspace. We believe that staff members who attain a positive work-life balance will be happier and more productive,” Kam explains.
Those interested in corporate social responsibility can join the bank’s volunteering team to help the poor in tandem with non-governmental organisations.