The newly established Financial Services Development Council held its first meeting on Tuesday after which it announced that it has identified five areas to study amid public doubts over its role. These areas were financial policy, opportunities from the mainland, creative services, market promotion and human resources, council chairwoman Laura Cha Shih May-lung said. The 22-member council was created by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in his maiden policy address last week. The council’s role and funding have all been subjects of controversy with critics saying the government has given it very little direction and voicing fears that it might get involved in setting government policy. Cha dismissed suggestions the council would be involved in policy-making, saying it was merely a government advisory body under the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau. In response to the question about its funding, Cha said the council would be operated by personnel seconded from government departments in its first three years. During this period, the council would not receive private donations, she said. But Cha did not reveal where funding would come from after the three years, saying only that the council would study the issue at that time.