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Development Programme for Independent Non-Executive Directors

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On 9 September 2016, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (“HKMA”) launched a new Development Programme for Independent Non-Executive Directors (“INEDs”) of locally incorporated authorized institutions (“AIs”). Specific details of the Development Programme are not yet available but the HKMA has advised it will incorporate three components:

  • Annual conference which will inform INEDs of industry affairs and allowing the HKMA senior to share their insights on future challenges;
  • Thematic seminars aimed at assisting INEDs in gaining deeper understanding on specific issues in the banking industry; and
  • On-boarding sessions tailored for newly appointed INEDs, covering the key risk areas as well as the HKMA’s approach and regulatory philosophy.

The first event under the Development Programme is a Thematic Seminar entitled “Account Opening, KYC Information Collection and Financial Inclusion” which will take place on 26 September 2016.

The role of INEDs has grown in importance in recent years with both regulators and companies (inside and outside of Hong Kong) recognising the value of INEDs to provide effective checks and balances on the powers of executive Directors and management. The creation of the Development Programme by the HKMA further reflects this.

Previously, the HKMA, in common with other global regulators, including the FCA and PRA, had not provided a dedicated training programme of this nature. Instead, any requirement for ongoing professional development was left to the AIs and INEDs to organise themselves. The HKMA is now taking a proactive approach to ensuring that INEDs are able to fulfil their role within AIs with maximum effectiveness.

The HKMA’s initiative is likely to be welcomed by both AIs and INEDs. Other global regulators will no doubt be watching this initiative carefully with a view to considering whether to develop similar INED focussed training programmes in their jurisdictions.

For further information concerning the Development Programme, please follow this link.