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Money Moves

Early start for retirement planning

by Isabella Lee

Bruno Lee, head of wealth management and personal financial services (Asia-Pacific), HSBC
Photo: Johnny Kwok

A recent survey conducted jointly by HSBC and the University of Hong Kong on local retirement issues found that younger workers from 30 to 44 years old are becoming more knowledgeable about different financial tools and the need to make adequate provision for retirement.

Although over 60 per cent of this age group regard savings accounts as the major instrument for investment, they are also giving greater considerations to insurance polices with a savings element, as well as equities, bonds and funds.

"It is good news," says Bruno Lee, head of wealth management and personal financial services (Asia-Pacific) for HSBC, who explains that planning for retirement must take into account financial security, healthcare protection and possible family considerations. It is therefore important to put in place a solid plan covering these essentials as early as possible.

"The introduction of the MPF made people realise the need to plan for the future," says Mr Lee. "However, that alone is not enough to provide full protection. People should also pay attention to the escalating medical expenses in Hong Kong."

To help today's working population have the kind of retirement they want, HSBC provides a wide range of services to cater for different customer needs and preferences. This makes it possible to customise solutions and meet specific individual requirements.

Mr Lee notes that besides having the right products to offer, the process of helping customers select the best combination is also crucial. "Instead of selling products off the shelf, HSBC puts more effort into educating customers about how they can benefit most from the different investment tools," he says. "We ensure they obtain the most useful and relevant analyses prepared by our professional team and don't do any hard selling." By taking this approach, the aim is to create long-term relationships with customers and to differentiate the bank from competitors.

Using the information obtained from the survey, HSBC will do more to promote an early start to personal retirement planning. Mr Lee says this is not only for business reasons, but because it is a matter of social responsibility to help people have a long and happy retirement. "It is our obligation to send the message that the earlier people start planning, the easier their goal can be achieved," he concludes.


Taken from Career Times 12 January 2007, p. A13

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