Conference on professional ethics

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 September, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 September, 1998, 12:00am

Professionalism and ethics come together naturally to mind. Professionalism embraces the expectation of high standards of behaviour of a person to whom it applies. Failure to live up to that expectation not only discredits one's professional status, it is also bad economics in business. No where can this be more true than financial industry where the key to success is held in clients' trust. One may argue that, at a time when profit is thinning and turnover is shrinking, business takes priority. Those who see the future of their business beyond current problems know this cannot be true, for the future can only be built upon long-term business relationship and good company reputation.

Hong Kong thrives on its reputation as an international financial centre and we have a duty to ensure that our reputation remains untarnished. Thanks to the efforts over the past decade by our market participants and regulators, we have a world-class market system and infrastructure that makes integrity as well as efficiency and fairness achievable goals. It is the way in which our market participants, the brokers, dealers, fund managers, investment advisers, company direc tors and many others, carry the rules and regulations, conduct their business and perform their professional duties that will at the end of the day determine if Hong Kong truly lives up to its reputation and the standards that the investors set for us.

It is a testing period for our market but I believe true ethics not only stands up to the test of prosperity but also that of adversity. May I wish the conference success.

REBECCA LAI Acting Secretary for Financial Services