Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Former HKMA chief Norman Chan recognised for lifetime contribution to monetary and financial development of Hong Kong

5 min read

By Wendy Weng

With tremendous insights and expertise, Norman Chan Tak-lam prioritised the stability of Hong Kong's monetary and financial systems as the key goal of HKMA, while actively promoting the adoption of new technologies.

  • Chan was recognised for his enormous contributions to the monetary and financial development of Hong Kong
  • Chan helped strengthen macro-prudential management and maintain the stability of the Hong Kong dollar
  • Chan has been actively engaged in promoting the adoption of new technologies

Norman Chan Tak-lam, former chief executive of Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), was honoured with the William “Bill” Seidman Award for Lifetime Achievement in Leadership in the Financial Services Industry for 2021 at The Asian Banker Leadership Achievement Award Virtual Ceremony 2021.

Chan was recognised for his enormous contributions to the monetary and financial development of Hong Kong

Chan made enormous contributions to the monetary and financial development of Hong Kong in his long and distinguished career. He was appointed chief executive of the HKMA amid the global financial crisis in 2009 and steered Hong Kong through the crisis. With his tremendous insights and expertise, he helped ensure the stability of Hong Kong's monetary and financial systems and enhance its position as an international financial centre.

He joined the administrative service of the Hong Kong government in 1976 and served in a number of policy bureaus before becoming deputy director of the Office of the Exchange Fund in 1991. He helped establish the HKMA in 1993 and was appointed executive director. He became deputy chief executive of the HKMA in 1996 and held the role until 2005.

Prior to rejoining the HKMA, he was director of the Chief Executive’s Office of the Hong Kong government from July 2007 to July 2009. He is also the founding chairman of the Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre, a policy think tank that focuses on Hong Kong’s long-term competitiveness and socio-economic well-being.

Chan strengthened macro-prudential management and stability of the Hong Kong dollar

Chan put in place counter-cycle macro-prudential regulatory measures to strengthen risk management of banks’ mortgage business. He was also executive director of the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation from its incorporation in March 1997 to May 2005 and served as deputy chairman from October 2009 to September 2019. Meanwhile, he was instrumental in reforming the financial system to strengthen its resilience.

He is a determined advocate of the Hong Kong dollar peg. Throughout the years, he defended the linked exchange rate system and maintained the stability of the Hong Kong dollar. In addition, he helped develop Hong Kong as the leading offshore renminbi centre and foster the financial cooperation among central banks in Asia.

Chan has been actively engaged in promoting the adoption of new technologies

Under the visionary leadership of Chan, the HKMA unveiled seven initiatives including the Faster Payment System and the promotion of virtual banking to prepare Hong Kong to move into a new era of smart banking. He also led the HKMA to launch measures to support and promote Hong Kong’s green finance development.

As a firm believer that businesses need to embrace technology to thrive in the fintech era, he has continued his efforts to promote the adoption of financial technology after he stepped down as HKMA’s chief executive in 2019. In 2020, he set up a digital payment company to help trading companies manage foreign exchange risks and facilitate cross-border payments.

Chan in his acceptance speech said, “Looking forward, I can see tremendous opportunities as well as challenges for the bankers, regulators and policymakers. In entering the digital era, the financial firms, regulators and policymakers basically have two choices - either adopt a wait and see attitude or embrace the new digital age wholeheartedly by deploying the latest technology for the benefits and protection of the depositors, investors and public at large. For those who are able to ride with the tide and stay ahead of the curve, I truly believe that they will be rewarded very handsomely in what is a once in a lifetime opportunity for combining technological innovation with practical application in the field of finance”.

For video of the Leadership Dialogue and Leadership Achievement Awards Virtual Ceremony, please click here.



Institution: Hong Kong Monetary Authority
Country: Hong Kong
Region: East Asia
Guest: Norman Chan
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