Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Stanchart HK CEO Mary Huen recognised as Retail Finance Person of the Year for transforming and elevating the bank’s retail business

By Janine Marie Crisanto

Mary Huen of Stanchart HK has had an extensive and distinguished career in financial services and led the bank to success amid turbulent times

The Retail Finance Person of the Year in 2020, Mary Huen, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Hong Kong (Stanchart HK), has in her more than 30 years’ banking and finance career, demonstrated exceptional leadership and expertise. She has held senior positions in managing balance sheet, products, wealth management and distribution. Before taking on her current role as CEO, Huen was the head of retail banking for Hong Kong and regional head of retail banking for Greater China and North Asia, and led the strategic agenda and drove the performance delivery of all the retail operations in the region.

She has proven her ability to establish long-term and sustainable banking franchise. Since her appointment as CEO in 2017, the bank has become one of the largest and most profitable business segments in the group globally, backed by exceptional financial performance and a clear business strategy. The bank’s revenue grew by 20% from 2016 to 2019 – accounting for 25% of the total income of the group. Meanwhile, profit increased by 54% during the same period, which contributed to more than a third of the group’s total profit.

Despite a tough operating environment defined by constant regulatory changes, volatile economic conditions and increasing disruptions from technology players, Huen was able to deliver on the bank’s strategic priorities especially in the areas of digitalisation and growing its affluent customer segment.

Under her leadership, the bank made significant strides in positioning itself at the forefront of digitalisation. Huen introduced new digital capabilities and reengineered its processes to enhance customer experience and value proposition. A notable new capability is QR Cash, a first in the Hong Kong market. Its mobile banking offering was also upgraded with new features, including the artificial intelligence-powered 24/7 virtual assistant Stacy, the SC Pay for Faster Payment System, online account opening, “Mobile FX”, and “Fund Select” which provides customers with a selection of handpicked high-quality funds. These initiatives helped boost the bank’s digital active client base by double digits.

Recognising the massive opportunity in Hong Kong as Asia’s international financial hub, the bank was able to tap into the growing affluent population. It established a new division of ‘Priority Private’ to serve high-end customers between Priority clients and Private clients. In 2019 alone, the bank was able to increase its Priority clients by 22%.

She has demonstrated resilience by successfully leading the bank through various challenges and crises including  severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the Asian Financial Crisis and Global Financial Crisis, and now, the COVID-19 pandemic.

In line with the ongoing digital transformation of the bank and the industry, Huen has prioritised workforce development to adapt to the new normal. She is determined to infuse a digital culture throughout all aspects of the bank's business segments. This commitment culminated in the launch of SCVentures, which is a corporate platform to test new ideas and models, and the eXellerator innovation lab and collaborative space in Hong Kong in April 2018 where the bank innovates from within by creating technology catalysts for change.

Huen has forged collaborative relationships within and outside of the financial services community. She has also initiated an informal female CEO network, "Women Chief Executives" (WCE), in the financial industry. The network has hosted regular cross-bank sharing sessions and mentorship programmes with the objective to promote women leadership in banking. Her involvement and activities in various boards and committees in Hong Kong has also been significant in the development of the banking industry and wider economy. 

For the full list and details of Excellence Awards winners 2020 click here

For details of the Excellence Awards programme 2020 click here 

Keywords: Retail Banking, Digitalisation, Sustainable Banking, Payments, Leadership, Ai, Qr, Banlance Sheet
Institution: Standard Chartered
Country: Hong Kong
Guest: Mary Huen
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