On March 3 1933, the first customers of Hang Seng – a small money-changing shop in Sheung Wan district – were greeted as honoured guests. Eighty years on, our continuing commitment to our founding principles and serving the community has seen us grow to become one of the 50 largest listed banks in the world. As a responsible corporate citizen, we aim to lead by example in supporting sustainable development as we strive to achieve excellence in the things we do.

Our annual Corporate Responsibility (CR) Report provides information on our sustainability initiatives and best practices.

We were the first local bank in Hong Kong to employ the internationally recognised Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) sustainability reporting guidelines, beginning with our 2010 CR Report. For 2012, I am pleased to inform you that we have achieved an A+ rating – the highest accreditation available – for the second consecutive year.

Other achievements in 2012 include being the only Hong Kong company named among the ‘Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World’ by Corporate Knights, contributing more than 25,000 hours in volunteer service and reaching out to over 280,000 young people through 150 Bank-supported education programmes and workshops.

Partnering with The Conservancy Association since 2007, the Hang Seng Yunnan Biogas Project earned us a Gold Award for community relations at the China International Public Relations Association’s 10th China Golden Awards for Excellence in Public Relations.

Reflecting our strong ties to our local community, we maintain long-term relationships with organisations which share our commitment to social and environmental enhancement, including The Community Chest of Hong Kong, which has been our close partner for 25 years.

We are also committed to building strong relationships with our internal stakeholders. Our efforts to support the professional and personal development of our staff saw us recognised as Hong Kong’s most attractive employer in the banking and financial services sector and Hong Kong’s fourth most attractive employer overall in the 2013 Randstad Award.

With global macroeconomic uncertainties continuing to create challenges for business, sustainable practices are playing an increasingly important role in the performance and perception of companies in Hong Kong and beyond. True to our roots, we will continue to champion service excellence and work hand-in-hand with stakeholders as we live up to our name as the ‘ever-growing’ bank.

Rose Lee
Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive
May 2013