HONG KONG – Standard Chartered plans to hire 300 to 500 staff in Hong Kong in 2023, in anticipation of an increase in wealth management and lending as the city reopens its borders with mainland China.
The lender expects “double-digit” growth in wealth management income and “single-digit” loan growth, said a spokesman. Its headcount in Hong Kong has ranged from 5,500 to 5,800 in recent years, she added.
Standard Chartered’s wealth management unit posted a 23 per cent slump in operating income in the fourth quarter, as Covid-19 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 (S$1.4 billion) in 2022.
With the reopening of the borders, wealthy mainland clients can now travel to Hong Kong and meet 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 development has spurred optimism among banks for the region and globally, with UBS Group predicting a boost for its key wealth division in Asia this year.
Morgan Stanley said in January its wealthy clients are extremely bullish on China’s economy.
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