The Financial Services Bureau is considering appointing an extra deputy secretary for financial services due to the increasing workload. The bureau at present has only one deputy secretary - Rebecca Lai Ko Wing-yee - who assists Secretary for Financial Services Rafael Hui Si-yan to manage all the financial sector's business in Hong Kong. A government source said the new deputy secretary would be responsible for the proposed Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) to be launched in 2000, insurance-industry regulation and the millennium bug problem. Mrs Lai would continue to be in charge of securities and banking after the new post was created, the source said. The proposed appointment was considered necessary as the bureau's workload had been increasing for the past year. The financial turmoil in the region and currency speculators' attacks on the pegged system had forced the government to propose measures to reform the local securities and futures markets, the source said. The proposed MPF plan was expected to be launched in 2000, which required a lot of preparation work to be done next year. 'There is also an urgent need to ensure all market players in the banking and securities industry solve the year 2000 computer problem,' the source said. 'An extra deputy head of the bureau will definitely help to ensure all of these projects are completed on time.' The proposal was still awaiting final approval from the Government. There was wide speculation that the press secretary of the Chief Executive's Office, Au King-chi, would be the most likely candidate for the new position. However, no decision had been made, the source said.