Morning Coffee: Veteran female banker leaves HSBC Hong Kong

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News about banking careers in Asia has been dominated by Standard Chartered’s big job cuts over the past 24 hours (click here and here for our coverage), but another Asia-focused UK bank, HSBC, has announced its own staffing shake-up – albeit on a much smaller scale.

The South China Morning Post reports that Anita Fung Yuen-mei, chief executive of HSBC Hong Kong, is leaving in February, while the firm’s China head, Helen Wong, has accepted a new position overseeing HSBC’s mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan operations. Fung is leaving to “pursue opportunities outside the group”, according to a bank memo quoted in the newspaper.

Fung, who started her banking career in 1983 at Standard Chartered and joined HSBC in 1996, was HSBC’s first female Hong Kong head and is regarded as a role model for women in finance in the city. A 2012 article about her in the SCMP points out that she once worked on the trading floor, traditionally a bastion of male egos, and enjoyed the experience. “When looking at success, I do not believe one should focus on gender,” she said in the article. “There are a lot of senior women colleagues in HSBC who are running key businesses and geographies for the group. My belief is that getting on in an organisation is about a passion for what you are doing and a desire to develop your career.”

Newly promoted Helen Wong will be the acting chief executive of the Hong Kong office until Fung’s replacement is named. Fung is not the only veteran female banker to leave her job in Asia of late. Earlier this week it was revealed that Lisa Friis, Deutsche Bank’s COO of investment banking coverage and advisory for Asia, had resigned.


As Standard Chartered closes its equities business, staff from the division in Hong Kong are locked out of the office on Thursday, while Singapore colleagues are escorted from their workplaces. (Reuters)

But Standard Chartered says that, despite cutting 4,000 retail and 200 equities roles globally, overall job cuts in Singapore will actually be “minimal”. (Straits Times)

J.P. Morgan Asset Management in Singapore can now trade offshore renminbi funds in China's securities markets. (Business Times)

Recruitment firm Hays outlines Singapore job hotspots for 2015. (Singapore Business Review)

China Construction Bank gets a UK branch licence. (Financial Times)

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