Money Moves

Opening more doors

Grace Chan

Stanley Wong (right), chairman, membership and professional development committee, The Hong Kong Institute of Bankers; with Victor Lee, director, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Photos: Edde Ngan
A sustainable talent pipeline provides important nutrients that are vital to the healthy development of every industry. With this in mind, the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers (HKIB) has been keen to forge partnerships with Hong Kong's academia in a bid to encourage professional advancement through continuous academic pursuits towards maintaining Hong Kong's edge as an international financial hub.

In collaboration with the School of Continuing and Professional Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUSCS), the HKIB will in June this year launch a new Diploma in Financial Planning programme which is a qualifying programme for the professional qualification Certified Financial Management PlannerTM (CFMPTM) accreditation conferred by the HKIB. Holders of the diploma will be able to articulate to the second stage of the CFMPTM pathway.

"Hong Kong is well-recognised as an international finance centre, with a competent judicial system, top-notch professionals and close ties with mainland China," says CUSCS director Victor Lee.

"A robust talent pool is the very key to the sustainable development of Hong Kong's banking and finance industry. The HKIB shares with us a common vision, which is to promote continuous professional education in order to raise the overall industry professional standards."

New talent fuels industry growth, notes Carrie Leung, chief executive officer of the HKIB. She adds: "The majority of banks and financial institutions in Hong Kong are looking to their human resources for future business growth. While the new diploma programme allows articulation to the second stage of the CFMPTM, it was indeed designed to groom the next generation of wealth management professionals."

Brandon Ng, the CUSCS' associate director, explains that the joint diploma programme in financial planning comprises three modules, including essentials of banking and financial planning, investment products and markets and regulatory environment for banking and financial planning. The diploma qualification will be awarded to students who have completed at least two of these. Students who have obtained exemption from two modules and completed one module in the programme will be awarded a certificate of completion and may articulate to the second stage of the CFMPTM.

The programme also provides an ideal banking career entry point to aspiring individuals who have no previous work experience in the field as well as those who look for a career shift into the dynamic world of financial planning. According to Ms Leung, a handful of the city's major banking institutions are ready to offer internship opportunities to top graduates of the new diploma programme.

Recognised widely by the banking communities in Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China, the CFMPTM prides itself for for being the first and only professional qualification in Hong Kong that underscores the importance of all-round banking practices.

Under a mutual recognition arrangement between the HKIB and the China Banking Association (CBA), CFMPTM Stage 1 diploma holders in Hong Kong who have passed the Certification of China Banking Professional's Banking Fundamental Certificate examination will be awarded the CBA's Personal Wealth Management Certificate.

"The opening up of the mainland market is creating a wealth of opportunities for local banking and financial professionals. Young people eyeing a finance career should equip themselves for the future. Continuous learning can be a good investment," advises Stanley Wong, chairman of the HKIB membership and professional development committee.

Taken from Career Times 3 June 2011

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