Standard Chartered is planning to increase its workforce in Hong Kong by up to 500 employees this year in a bid to explore the potential in the region’s loan and wealth management market, reported South China Morning Post (SCMP).

The move will expand the British banking giant’s existing headcount by 9% to approximately 5,800 in Hong Kong, according to Standard Chartered Hong Kong CEO Mary Huen Wai-yi.

It will further help the bank to tap the rising opportunities in the Greater Bay Area as well as meet the demand for green finance.    

In a post-result briefing last week, Wai-yi said: “We need to hire more people as we expect there will be a good growth in loan and wealth management demand this year.

“The reopening of the border is set to increase business opportunities in the Greater Bay Area, green finance, fintech and wealth management.”

Last week, Standard Chartered posted an annual net profit of $2.55bn for the year 2022, compared with $1.91bn a year ago.

The bank’s biggest market in Hong Kong saw an 8% increase in operating income to $3.72bn during the same year.

However, income at the firm’s overall wealth management business dropped by 17% in 2022, from $2.25bn to $1.8bn.

Wai-yi further noted that the bank’s operating income in Hong Kong has gone back to the pre-Covid19 era of $3.76bn in 2019.

She added: “This shows the worst is over.

“The higher interest rate has widened the interest margin and income, while the improved market sentiment in recent months has also brought in more fee income.”