Opportunities for Young Financial Talent


Hong Kong’s status as a leading international financial centre is well recognised. Its labour force is highly educated and its professionalism is par with international standard. Those aspire to join the financial industry may first understand more about the industry classification, the field of study, and career prospects for better career and education planning.


Financial Services Industry

The financial services industry is a high value-added sector, which comprises banking, insurance, and other financial services.

Banking Industry
Banking services are broadly categorised into retail banking, private banking and corporate banking:
  • Retail banks generally serve general public, while some also provide services for SMEs.
  • Private banks delivers services to high-net-worth individuals.
  • Corporate banks focuses on serving corporate customers.
Categorised by key function, positions in a bank can be subdivided into front, middle and back-office work:
  • Front office work mainly refers to customer facing tasks such as sales of financial products and services, customer relationship management.
  • Middle office work encompasses risk management, compliance and product development.
  • Back office provides services to render support to the front office and maintain daily operation of a bank. Departments include credit department, settlement department, administration department, human resources department, information technology department, etc.
Insurance industry
Insurance agents who sell insurance policies may first come to the public’s mind when considering the job opportunity in the insurance industry. Indeed, apart from the front-line sales teams, there are a number of back-office positions that are essential for supporting the daily operation of an insurance company, such as underwriting (checking the authenticity of the insured’s information), actuarial calculations (calculation of premiums and indemnities) and claims settlement (handling insurance claims), etc.
Other Financial Services Sectors
Securities and futures trading, investment banking, investment advisors, and trustees and custodians are other examples of financial services.
Employment Data of Hong Kong's Financial Industry

According to the statistics from the Census and Statistics Department, financial services sector accounts for 7.5% of the total employment in Hong Kong. Within this sector, banking, insurance, and other financial services account for 37%, 27% and 36% respectively. While the banking industry plays a pivotal role in Hong Kong, other financial services sectors are rising in their signficance.

Fields of Study and Employment Prospects
The financial sector draws a variety of skills. Graduates from fields other than typical business administration, such as the liberal arts, computer science, technology, engineering, and others, can also work in the financial sector and enrol in courses connected to it. The financial industry has various opportunities.
Holistic Talent Development Strategy
The HKMA has formulated a more holistic talent development strategy – “Connecting Talent to the Future”, with a view to promoting talent development in the banking sector in a more systematic and targeted manner.

Enhanced Competency Framework
The HKMA is working with the banking industry and relevant professional bodies to implement an industry-wide Enhanced Competency Framework (ECF) for Banking Practitioners. This initiative also serves as one of the measures to enhance the risk management capability of banks. The HKMA has launched nine ECF modules covering different professional workstreams to promote the training and development of talents in the banking industry.


Little Thrifty doesn’t have a deep understanding of different types of work available in the financial industry. He can only recall front-line staff at a bank, providing customer services on deposits, loan application, foreign exchange, insurance and etc. For the insurance industry, he is most familiar with insurance agents’ work. They help their clients to identify suitable insurance products based on individuals’ needs. Agents also need to take the initiative to look for new clients and assist insurance companies in the investigation of losses and settlement of claims.
Similar to other front office jobs in other sectors, those market practitioners providing securities and futures trading services help their clients open account, handle clients’ trading instructions and settlement. Owing to the rapid development of the sector, there are many new positions and employment opportunities in the fields such as financial technology and green finance.


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