Friday, 21 January 2022

StanChart Hong Kong increases digital sales, retail deposits, and affluent client base through innovative digital initiatives

5 min read

By The Asian Banker

Standard Chartered Bank Hong Kong (Standard Chartered) strengthened its digital transformation journey amid the challenging COVID-19 conditions by implementing innovative initiatives and building ecosystems.

  • The bank maintains steady growth in retail deposit and affluent client base
  • The bank provides seamless access to banking services and solutions in the comfort of one’s home
  • The bank received high BankQuality and NPS scores

Singapore, 3 June 2021 – Standard Chartered Bank Hong Kong was recognised as the Best Retail Bank in Hong Kong at The Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards 2021.

StanChart HK saw significant growth in retail deposits, digital sales and client base

Hong Kong is an international banking centre and 70% of the 100 largest banks in the world have operations in the territory. Bank of China Hong Kong (BOCHK), Bank of East Asia (BEA), and Standard Chartered stood out from the submissions for Best Retail Bank that were received this year.

BOCHK has a larger scale of operations and basis for generating strong financial performance. However, Standard Chartered had tremendous growth in customer and business operations even though it has a smaller business. It integrated its business with technologies through a deeper digitisation process.

In this year’s assessment of Best Retail Bank in Hong Kong, Standard Chartered emerged top for growing its retail deposits, digital sales and affluent base.

Brand and Sales: The bank maintains steady growth in retail deposit and affluent client base

Standard Chartered’s retail deposit value increased by 35% year-on-year. The bank enables the remote onboarding of deposit accounts through its ecosystem. It partnered with mReferral, a key mortgage comparison website in Hong Kong. It also built a source code mechanism where sourcing can be measured while seeking potential ecosystem partners.

BOCHK expanded its ecosystem coverage through its mobile banking app that enables customers to manage day-to-day financial needs. It also invites third-party software developers to access a wide range of products and services through an open API framework.

Standard Chartered’s mobile active ratio leads the market at 40% compared with the average 37% of its peers. The bank’s digital wealth management income doubled in 2020. It has a high digital sales capability in credit cards, personal loans, mutual funds, and bancassurance which increased to an average of 70% of total sales as compared to 60% last year.

Standard Chartered grew its affluent client base by 28% in 2020 through expanded and new wealth management solutions in ESG investment, wealth financing, US brokerage and others. The bank also launched a dedicated Priority Private Centre at K11 Musea, providing a high- end customer experience where relationship managers and clients engage in wealth advisory conversations.

Digital Journey: The bank provides seamless access to banking services and solutions in the comfort of one’s home

BOCHK and Standard Chartered launched initiatives to alleviate the impact of the pandemic by accelerating their digital journeys. Improving mobile banking application functionalities is the main strategy that the banks implemented. Standard Chartered introduced new account opening through SC Mobile, providing 80% of clients with straight-through processing capability. Clients can open current and savings account (CASA) with instant onboarding, place time deposits, apply new cards, buy mutual funds, foreign exchange and insurance products through mobile or online channels.

Standard Chartered now has over a million digital users with a high active ratio that exceeds 5% of the average of its peers. Its digital sales capability also improved and registered a 100% growth compared to the previous year.

The banks also invested in digital wealth services. Standard Chartered launched “My RM” where relationship managers and clients can co-browse market views and have discussions remotely. It also held over 200 digital wealth seminars to give regular market updates and insights of product experts. BOCHK launched PlanAhead on its app to meet customers’ investment needs and manage their wealth using financial planning as well as smart investment services.

Customer Experience: The bank received high BankQuality and NPS scores

Standard Chartered introduced agile squads and cross-functional client journey teams, empowering them to come up with ways to enhance customer experience. The teams have tools such as digital client panels to gather customer insights. Standard Chartered aims to provide 24/7 digital assistance to clients through its virtual assistance chatbot Stacy and contact agents using the “click-to-chat” feature. It is one of the first banks to launch credit card real-time balance and transactions so that clients no longer need to check pending transactions via the call centre. The bank also hosts live wealth academy webinars, providing clients latest market updates and investment insights with instant Q&A.

BOCHK supports customers through five financial initiatives and upgraded its mobile banking app with enhanced navigation capabilities. It also launched the Greater Bay Area Personal Loan mortgage service.

Standard Chartered received outstanding customer feedback from priority banking relationship managers and satisfaction scores in branch, resulting in overall net promoter score (NPS) of 72.4 in 2020. The digital NPS improved from 10 points in 2019 to 44 points in 2020. Its BankQuality score of 100.17% also ranked highest among the three banks. BOCHK had a 99.34% BQS while BEA had 98.76%.

COVID-19 Response: The bank helped alleviate cash flow pressure on customers

During the pandemic, Standard Chartered ensured clients’ safety in branches by enforcing protective measures such as temperature checks, provision of sanitising hand gel, and social distancing in queues and waiting areas. The bank processed over 3,600 applications and $650 million in loans to business clients and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The bank also launched a mortgage relief plan of over $601 million in drawdown to over 1,500 applicants.

BOCHK donated HKD 15 million ($1.9 million) and supplies to help fight the pandemic in the territory. The bank also helped customers by delaying the repayment of mortgage principal for up to 12 months, providing instalment relief loans, and waiving fees. In response to Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s call to alleviate cash flow pressure on SMEs, Standard Chartered and BOCHK offered various relief measures including SME financing guarantee schemes.

About The Asian Banker International

The Asian Banker is the region’s most authoritative provider of strategic business intelligence to the financial services community. The Singapore-based company has offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Manila, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Dubai, as well as representatives in London, New York, and San Francisco. It has a business model that revolves around three core business lines: publications, research services and forums.

The company’s website is

You may visit the Excellence in Retail Financial Services page at

For further information on the collaterals for winning banks, please contact:

Mr. Mobasher Zein Kazmi
Head of Research
Tel: (+61) 452 514 145




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