Building a brighter future: HKIB’s ongoing mission to raise levels of professionalism is creating new pathways for bankers of today and tomorrow
Throughout the financial peaks and recessionary troughs of the past 52 years, the unwavering dedication of The Hong Kong Institute of Bankers (HKIB) to the promotion of new opportunities for the city’s bankers has been one constant.
HKIB’s support of bankers’ careers, and its talent development efforts across the entire sector, has seen the organisation play an important part in establishing industry-wide standards that create pathways for the bankers of today and tomorrow.
The HKIB has had a leading role in expanding the industry’s talent base since 2006, when it introduced the Certified Financial Management Planner qualification. It was the first locally recognised qualification for wealth managers in Hong Kong.
More than 2,000 client-facing members of the Hong Kong banking community have since gained the qualification, as well as 600 bankers in Macau.
The HKIB now offers four professional credentials: Associate of The Hong Kong Institute of Bankers, Accredited Banking Practitioner, Certified Professional, and the Certified Financial Management Planner qualification.
Since 2013, the institute’s education programmes have been accredited by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications. The accreditation guarantees excellent materials for learners and high-quality instructors.
HKIB’s continual roll out of professional qualification programmes is a sign of its commitment to education and building the industry’s talent base. Meanwhile, its dedication to quality assurance and continuous improvement has seen reviews of its Associateship Examination and Certified Professional programmes start this year.
The HKIB’s ongoing mission to train better bankers and aid the development of great careers has most recently been made evident by the thousands of hours dedicated to establishing the Hong Kong government’s Qualifications Framework (QF) for the banking industry. The QF makes sense of the proficiencies required for banking and seeks to tailor an educational model that will be relevant across all industries in Hong Kong.
In the banking sector, the framework has been steered by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, which has worked with the industry’s professional bodies, including the HKIB, to deliver a series of proficiencies geared toward educational outcomes.
This QF development process has now passed the midway point in the banking sector. There are guidelines or drafts in place for three of the five main business functions in banking: retail banking, corporate and commercial banking, and wealth management and private banking. The disciplines of investment banking and treasury services are the remaining areas to be analysed.
“We are talking about nurturing professional bankers for now and the future,” says Carrie Leung, chief executive of the HKIB. “If you are thinking about future professionals, it is important to define the competency requirements. The approach for this should be a competency model that can become an industry standard.”
“We’re talking about nurturing future, professional bankers,” says Carrie Leung, chief executive of the HKIB. “If you’re talking about the future, being professional, and you’re defining the competency requirements for bankers, it has to start with a competency model, an industry standard.”
With the release of new standards for the wealth management and private banking sector earlier this year, the groundwork is now in place to begin building the careers of wealth management practitioners.
“We want to expand the talent pool for the wealth management industry in Hong Kong,” Leung says.
For the private banking industry, there are four main dimensions covered in the QF: coverage and advice, solutions and services, infrastructure and support, and investment platforms. These are broken into nine functional areas.
The HKIB and other professional bodies, including the Private Wealth Management Association, are applying the QF through the Enhanced Competency Framework (ECF) for private wealth practitioners. The competency framework complements the efforts of the government-led QF scheme, adding additional, specialist learning topics for practitioners working across the Asia-Pacific region.
From a broader perspective, the ECF is part of the HKMA’s effort to boost competencies in bank staff. “This will help build Hong Kong’s brand as a premier international financial centre providing high-quality services to meet customer needs,” says Arthur Yuen, deputy chief executive of the HKMA.
Pushing the boundaries
There are other ways the HKIB delivers on its mandate to educate. Events such as the Annual Banking Conference are complemented by a range of highly rated continuous professional learning opportunities, including the Regulators Dialogue, the Distinguished Speakers Series, the Luncheon Series talks and a collection of free seminars.
The net result of the HKIB’s passion for developing banking talent is an increasingly comprehensive set of events and professional qualifications aimed at helping bankers achieve as much as possible in their careers.
The institute’s tireless work has shown that the organisation has retained its mission to “connect, educate, inform and qualify” Hong Kong’s banking professionals.