Standard Chartered plans to hire new staff in Hong Kong
The reopening of Hong's borders with China has spawned hope among banks and the sector which once boomed is feeling a sigh of relief. Standard Chartered is going ahead plan to hire 300 to 500 staff in Hong Kong this year amid hopes after reopening its borders to mainland China.
According to a Bloomberg report that quoted a spokeswoman, the lender expects “double-digit” growth in wealth management income and “single-digit” loan growth.
The lender’s headcount in Hong Kong has ranged from 5,500 to 5,800 in recent years, she said.
Standard Chartered’s wealth management unit posted a 23 per cent slump in operating income in the fourth quarter, as Covid restrictions negatively impacted face-to-face sales, and volatile markets led to lower transactions, the lender said. Underlying profit before taxation for its key Hong Kong market slid about 9 per cent to US$1.08 billion in 2022.
After the border was reopened, wealthy mainland clients started traveling to Hong Kong and meeting with advisers. Rival lender HSBC Holdings’ Chairman Mark Tucker last month said Hong Kong and the Greater Bay area are likely to be “immediate beneficiaries” of China’s reopening.
The reopening has spurred optimism among banks for the region as well as globally, with UBS Group predicting an increase in its key wealth division in Asia this year.
Morgan Stanley said last month its wealthy clients are extremely bullish on China’s economy.