Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) says it will actively promote its new yuan service to non-residents in the city, and hopes to see its mainland customer base double every year. From Wednesday this week non-residents have been able to open yuan accounts with banks in Hong Kong. Until then, only Hong Kong identity cardholders were allowed to open yuan accounts in the city. 'The Greater China area is the locomotive of profit growth for the group. We are going to continue investing in talent and resources in the region,' bank chief executive Benjamin Hung Pi-cheng said yesterday. On Wednesday, Standard Chartered announced that net profit for the six months ended June rose 12 per cent to US$2.8 billion compared with the same period last year - a tenth consecutive record-breaking result. Speaking at the lender's head office yesterday, Hung said Hong Kong, Taiwan and the mainland contributed 30 per cent of the group's operating profit. In the first six months this year, the value of yuan deposits held for customers was up 32 per cent, he said, while the value of yuan loans doubled year-on-year. Hung said the bank would invest in developing its digital platform, and launch an application for smartphone users. 'Also, we attach great importance to headhunting talent with knowledge of both Hong Kong and the mainland,' he said. The lender has brought its mainland employees to Hong Kong for training, and is encouraging Hong Kong employees to work on the mainland for a couple of years before moving back. Mary Huen, Standard Chartered's Hong Kong consumer banking head, said new customers rose by 90 per cent in the first half of the year compared with a year earlier. Without giving details, she said the bank had opened yuan accounts for mainlanders in Hong Kong in the first three days since the non-resident yuan account service was launched. StanChart estimates the total amount of foreign trade settled in yuan will rise to 20 per cent in 2015, from 10 per cent now.