Money Moves

Optimising growth conditions

by Grace Chan

Leading banking institution to recruit new staff

Daniel Chow, general manager
sales & distribution, consumer banking
Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited
Photo: Wallace Chan

Optimism about the future of Hong Kong's wealth management and mortgage markets is leading Standard Chartered Bank to plan for branch network expansion and recruitment for additional staff for its consumer banking division.

Positions such as relationship manager, personal financial manager, personal financial consultant, branch manager, customer service assistant and telemarketing officer will be among the jobs on offer at the bank's upcoming recruitment day.

In line with its expectations of strong future growth, the bank is set to double its frontline wealth management force in the coming year.

"We are looking to take on about 300 new university graduates interested in careers as personal financial consultants," says Daniel Chow, general manager, sales & distribution, consumer banking, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited.

All-in-one platform

The finance sector was hit hard last year but with recoveries in clear view, the bank is quick to pick up its pace and is looking to sharing exciting prospects with its customers. "Fostering strong relationships with our customers has always been a priority," Mr Chow says, adding that Standard Chartered has introduced a series of new marketing initiatives aimed at enhancing its competitiveness by tightening its bond with customers.

One such move is a "Total Relationship Rewards" scheme launched in July this year, giving customers reward points not only on credit card spending, but also through balances in deposits, investments, insurance, mortgages and other means.

Another innovative initiative allows customers to bundle their bank accounts with those of family members, enabling all to enjoy favourable interest rates. "We want to encourage our customers to consolidate their accounts and to take advantage of our one-stop banking solutions," Mr Chow explains.

Taking a customer-centric approach, Standard Chartered undertakes to closely monitor its clients' investment portfolios around-the-clock. "One of our wealth management strategies is to make our clients' money work harder in order to achieve long-term returns," he says.

To achieve this, the bank offers its customers a range of sophisticated banking products and dedicates a wealth of training resources to groom frontline staff and relationship managers in particular.

Mr Chow stresses that Standard Chartered spares no efforts in ensuring that its relationship managers are well-equipped for their daily operations. "They are backed by an insightful team of in-house specialists who compile and distribute daily analysis reports to all branches early in the morning," he says. "We position ourselves as more than just a bank. Our knowledgeable, professional and market-savvy employees make all the difference."

Customised training

At the top of the bank's agenda is nurturing home-grown talent. "Talented graduates can expect to move up to the position of relationship manager within two years of starting work as a personal financial consultant," he says.

In fact, all Standard Chartered employees have the scope to move within the organisation. "Relationship managers, for example, can opt for vertical moves into general management positions or horizontally into specialist roles," Mr Chow remarks.

In addition to regular classroom training, the bank employs experienced in-house coaches to customise training programmes for individual staff members, with an ultimate aim to hone the soft and hard skills they need to move up the career ladder.

"We respect individuality as much as teamwork here," Mr Chow emphasises. "All staff members are made aware of their development opportunities and have clear career paths mapped out for them."

The bank's diversified global network also makes it an employer of choice. "As long as our staff members discuss their career aspirations with their team leaders and take ownership of their learning and career development, there are ample opportunities for them to progress and rise through the ranks," notes Mr Chow.

Outstanding performance is rewarded through special incentives such as overseas travel and gift vouchers for luxury stores. All employees get a day's paid leave on their birthdays and are allowed to leave early on family members' birthdays.

"We pull out all the stops to keep our staff happy and motivated," says Mr Chow. "It is also part of our responsibility as an employer to help employees maintain a healthy work-life balance."

The bank targets candidates that are service orientated, have a true passion for banking and a strong commitment to Standard Chartered and the industry as a whole. "We value an open mind more than qualifications and experience," he adds.

"We are in a strong position to grow our own talent through our well-structured training, but in this people-oriented business the most important quality is a heartfelt service attitude, so we expect this from our new recruits," Mr Chow concludes.

Moving forward

  • Plans to recruit more frontline staff to accommodate business growth
  • Innovative schemes and products attract clients to all-in-one banking
  • Customised, comprehensive staff training supports customer-centric business ethos

Taken from Career Times 20 November 2009, p. A3
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