All systems go for Wealth Management Connect

Hong Kong banks have readied hundreds of products for the Cross-Boundary Wealth Management Connect pilot scheme launched on Friday.

The aggregate quota for the scheme is 150 billion yuan (HK$181 billion) with an individual investor quota of 1 million yuan.

Offered as soon as next month will be from low to medium risk and “non-complex” products approved by regulators.

Lenders in Hong Kong are fully geared for the scheme.

Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp has plans to offer more than 100 products, and it has 5,000 retail bankers in the Greater Bay Area.

Bank of China Hong Kong (2388) also goes into the scheme with more than 100 products, taking in funds, bonds, deposits and foreign exchange services.

Hang Seng Bank will provide over 140 wealth management products covering funds, bonds and deposits.

Citibank Hong Kong is also ramping up to provide more than 100 products, and with that in mind plans to hire 1,000 experts in wealth management in Hong Kong by 2025.

Likewise, Standard Chartered has invested US$40 million (HK$312 million) in a Greater Bay Area center in Guangzhou, where it plans to have more than 1,600 staff by 2023.

Luanne Lim Hui-Hung, chairwoman of the Hong Kong Association of Banks, is confident that Wealth Management Connect will become a popular choice among investors in the Greater Bay Area, providing new impetus to the industry’s growth.

And as connections strengthen across the Greater Bay Area, Lim said, the banking industry will strive to enhance investor education, promote cross-boundary acceptance of qualifications and talent development.

Carrie Leung, chief executive of the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers, said mutual recognition of professional qualifications is most important in promoting the pilot program.

The institute will continue to provide courses such as those that can help lead to banking qualification examinations in the mainland and also to assist Hong Kong banking people obtain qualifications that are recognized in the mainland.

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