Standard Chartered Bank

StanChart’s Ben Hung becomes its first Chinese executive elevated to global management role

UK-based lender, which generates most of its revenues from outside Europe, primarily in Asia, will report third quarter results on Wednesday

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 31 October, 2017, 7:08pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 October, 2017, 10:24pm

Standard Chartered has appointed Benjamin Hung Pi Cheng, the bank’s chief executive for Greater China and North Asia, as its new chief executive of retail banking globally, amid a broader shake-up of the bank’s senior management.

He becomes the first ethnically Chinese person to serve in an executive management role at the UK headquartered lender, which still makes most of its revenues from outside Europe, primarily in Asia.

Hung will take on his new role in addition to his current responsibilities running Standard Chartered’s operations in the region, focused on Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan and South Korea.

“The trend in Hong Kong banking has certainly moved towards hiring more ethnically Chinese people in senior roles particularly because of the importance of relationships with China,” said Nigel Chung, principal consultant at Harbridge Partners.

“However, it is unusual for them to take up global roles at banks headquartered outside the region.”

Hung was the second Hong Kong Chinese person to run Standard Chartered’s Hong Kong operations when he was appointed in 2007.

The first, Peter Wong Tung-shun, later became the first Hong Kong Chinese person to serve as chief executive of the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank, HSBC’s Asia Pacific operations.

Earlier this month, Swiss bank UBS said it was looking to hire an Asian to its board of directors to help it remain connected to markets and decision makers in the region.

In the first half of this year, income from Standard Chartered’s Greater China and North Asia operations alone, US$2.8 billion, made up over a third of its total of US$7.22 billion. It will report its third quarter results on Wednesday.

UBS looks to appoint an Asian to board of directors as it eyes expansion in the region

Hung will be responsible for retail banking in Standard Chartered’s Asean and South Asia, and Africa and the Middle East operations, as well in his own region.

The appointment is part of a wider series of management changes at the bank, following the retirement of Karen Fawcett, currently its chief executive of retail banking and group head of brand and marketing.

The shake-up also sees Judy Hsu, currently the bank’s CEO in Singapore, take over responsibility for the bank’s operations in Asean and Southeast Asia in stages over the next 14 months.