Our business is about building lasting relationships. Over the past 80 years, core values such as professionalism, passion and taking a prudent-yet-progressive approach have earned us the trust of more than 3 million customers in Hong Kong.

We deliver service excellence by combining innovation with integrity in offering our products and services, including the provision of clear and honest information that is tailored to specific customer needs, open communication and full accountability in all our business dealings, and high respect for client privacy.

We provide a safe and welcoming environment at all our outlets, with an emphasis on comfort, efficiency and the status of our customers as honoured guests.

We work to improve financial literacy within our community, with the objectives of empowering individuals and businesses to achieve financial security and move forward with their wealth management goals, irrespective of their income or circumstances.

A deep understanding of the financial needs and objectives of our customers underpins our reputation for service excellence. We provide channels such as suggestion forms and hotlines for customer-initiated feedback. We proactively gather customer opinions – including through an annual relationship management survey to assess business customer satisfaction – to enhance our ability to provide an outstanding service experience. We identify our strengths, areas for improvement and industry best practices through local market benchmarking exercises and operate a mystery shopping programme to monitor and ensure quality service by our frontline staff at branch outlets and MTR station offices.

We receive third-party assessment of our performance from external agencies. Customer satisfaction is also monitored through market surveys such as the Banking Industry Monitoring Study conducted by Oracle Added Value. In 2012, we were the most recommended bank by customers and have had the highest-rated banking services in Hong Kong for eight consecutive years.

Service Excellence

In upholding service excellence as our keystone principle we continue to receive recognition for our banking and financial services.

Award Name Category
Sing Tao Excellence Service Brand Awards 2012 Banking – Branch Services
Ming Pao Weekly Elite Awards 2012 星級財富管理銀行大獎
EastWeek Hong Kong Service Awards 2012 General Banking Services
Ming Pao – Prestigious Corporate Brand Award 2012 - 2013 Consumer Grand Award in Hong Kong Category - Banking Services

Handling Customer Feedback

Business units, frontline staff and our Quality Assurance Department (QAD) are all responsible for receiving customer opinions, comments and suggestions. We have a standardised complaint handling procedure to ensure customer feedback is dealt with in a consistent and efficient manner that abides by the service pledges contained in our internal procedure manual and external guidelines.

QAD, which is an independent unit, handles customer comments and assists business units in resolving complaints. QAD staff aim to acknowledge receipt of any feedback or complaint within two working days and to resolve most issues (if applicable) within seven days. Should the matter require further investigation, QAD is committed to undertaking this task and providing a comprehensive follow-up reply within 30 days. If QAD’s investigations identify any issues that require remedial action, line management will take the necessary steps to address these matters.

Senior management regularly review reports on customer suggestions, comments, compliments and complaints. Lessons learnt from customer feedback are communicated to staff to improve customer service and encourage best practice.


Access for All

Our aim is to provide convenient, secure and fast access to financial services. This includes harnessing the power of technology to offer our services across a wide range of platforms to give customers greater control over how and when they manage their finances. It also means careful planning of our network of outlets and considering the special needs of different demographic groups in our community.

At the end of 2012, the number of Personal e-Banking customers had increased by 10 per cent compared with a year earlier to over 1.3 million.

A growing proportion of transactions are being conducted via automated channels such as the Internet, self-service banking terminals and phone banking.

With Hong Kong consumers each carrying an average of two mobile phones and the increasing popularity of other mobile devices, we have taken steps to serve the rising demand for mobile financial services. Using an integrated platform approach, we developed and launched a 4G e-Banking platform in the third quarter of 2011. The platform offers a unified interface that allows a wide range of mobile devices to access Personal e-Banking services. We have continued to enhance and expand the platform’s offerings and functionality, including the addition of securities trading, time deposit and foreign currency features.

In November 2012 we announced our plans to launch an innovative new mobile phone-based contactless payment channel. Utilising near-field communication (NFC) technology, the service will enable customers to make purchases through their credit card accounts using their NFC-enabled mobile phones at retail payment terminals equipped with contactless readers.


Serving special-needs populations

We are working to improve special-needs access to our banking services. Our website is designed with readability and ease of navigation as priorities. We have 122 outlets with wheelchair access, including street-level branches, MTR branches and standalone automated banking centres.

In partnership with Hong Kong Seeing Eye Dog Services (HKSEDS), we initiated a new project in 2012 – to be rolled out during 2013 – under which visually impaired customers can bring their HKSEDS assistance dogs into the banking halls of selected Hang Seng branches. To identify those branches that serve as HKSEDS training sites, the organisation will provide specially designed signage and guidance on how such signage should be displayed at branch entrances.


Transparency, Accountability, Choice

We are committed to providing clear, transparent and balanced information to our customers. Our marketing and sales materials and product factsheets are factual and easy to understand. Product features, terms and conditions, and any associated risks are clearly communicated to ensure customers can make an informed decision.

Where relevant, we present several product options so that customers can select the solution that best suits their requirements. It is our policy to sell products and services based on customers' specific needs, in line with the principles of ‘providing the right product and service at the right time for the right customer in the right way' and 'ethical and fair dealings for long-lasting business’.

New products and services are brought to our Internal Product Oversight Committee for approval before being launched. Further, all product proposition and service releases are subject to regulatory review on top of our internal control process.


Customer privacy

Ensuring the privacy of our customers’ personal information and other data is among our most important responsibilities in maintaining our reputation for good governance and in establishing the trust that underpins lasting business relationships. We comply with all data privacy regulations and have formulated a set of Privacy Principles to guide staff in protecting customer information. (For more information on our data privacy policies, please see ‘Data Privacy’ in the Corporate Governance section of this Report.)

Our branch facilities are designed to offer customers who need to discuss sensitive or confidential financial management matters an appropriate amount of personal privacy.


Our Service Pledge

In addition to complying with external regulations and guidelines, we apply a rigorous set of internal ‘Customer Fairness Principles’ in offering our products and services.

Treat Me Fairly We will build honest relationships with customers and deliver products and services at a fair price
Tailored Solutions We will listen to customers and work to understand their needs in order to provide the most suitable products and services
Keep Me informed We will provide clear, transparent, relevant and timely communications that give customers all the information they need to make informed choices
Suitable Advice When we provide advice to a customer it must based on a full understanding of their needs and best reflect their circumstances
Meet Commitments When we make commitments to a customer as to how a product or service will perform, we will always endeavour to deliver on these commitments
Flexibility We will provide customers with the ability to change products or services as their requirements change without enforcing unreasonable barriers. If a customer wishes to complain or make a claim, the process will be easy to understand

We are also governed by Hong Kong’s Code of Banking Practice, our Group Standards Manual and our internal legal and compliance Functional Instructions Manual.

We provide a diverse range of personal banking and wealth management products to enable customers to select the solution that best suits their needs. We offer investment products with different risk levels to suit the varying risk appetites of customers.

Our strong product manufacturing and distribution capabilities allow us to offer timely investment solutions to support the financial management objectives of customers in different market situations and business conditions.


Championing Local Business

Building strong partnerships with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is one of our key areas of focus. By working with these businesses, we help drive the Hong Kong economy and create new local employment opportunities and wealth.

We actively participate in the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme supported by Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation, which helps SMEs acquire sufficient funding to meet their business needs.

We regularly run seminars for SME customers in collaboration with external parties or associations on topics related to financing solutions, taxation, investment market, to help improve SMEs’ financial literacy and increase awareness of relevant financial management tools.

Our commitment to supporting SME business earned us our seventh consecutive award under the 'SME's Best Partner Awards' organised by the Hong Kong Chamber of Small and Medium Business.

Along with steps to further improve service access and efficiency at our eight Business Banking Centres, these types of initiatives enabled us to grow our Corporate and Commercial Banking customer base by 13% by the end of 2012 compared with a year earlier.


Helping Customers Face Financial Challenges

We understand that life is full of uncertainties and unforeseeable change. That is why we are committed to working with customers facing challenging financial situations. For business customers that are dealing with such difficulties, we provide assessment and advisory services that aim to help them get back on track.

We help business customers make a realistic assessment of their current position, from which we will determine the best course of action. This may involve rescheduling a debt based on new cash flow projections, the continuation of revolving facilities to keep businesses afloat during a tough period or providing a grace period to give the customer time to work out and execute a longer term recovery strategy.

Similarly, our primary objective when working with personal customers in financial distress is to find a win-win solution. Our internal guidelines are based on the Hong Kong Approach to Consumer Debt Difficulties issued by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. We have a dedicated unit for handling debt relief plans that will review the circumstances surrounding each case with the individual(s) involved. Where a genuine difficulty exists, we aim to find possible solutions that may range from extending a repayment schedule to offering partial relief.


Community outreach

At a broader community level, we are working in partnership with several local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) – including Caritas Family Crisis Support Centre and The Healthy Budgeting Family Debt Counseling Centre under Tung Wah Groups of Hospitals – to help individuals in financial difficulty by offering them debt-restructuring services.

We also participate in the joint Financial Education Programme organised by the Hong Kong Association of Banks and the Hong Kong Council of Social Service with the aim sharing key concepts of savings and credit and strategies for sound financial management with low-income groups and single parent families.


Service Environment

In line with the principles established by Hang Seng’s founders, we view every customer who visits our outlets as an honoured guest. We aim to provide a comfortable, clean and safe environment in all our branches and service outlets. We design our premises with ease of navigation and health and safety as top priorities. We also have floor staff operating at our branches who are available to assist customers with enquiries.

In Hong Kong's humid climate, managing indoor air quality (IAQ) and ventilation systems is an important element of our health and safety responsibilities. To ensure that the IAQ at our branches and offices meets the ‘Good Class’ established in the Guidance Notes for the Management of IAQ in Offices and Public Place issued by Hong Kong Government's Environmental Protection Department, we regularly clean air filters and conduct IAQ measurements for monitoring and continuously improving the system performance.

Our standard temperature set point in our offices and outlets is 24.5 °C during the hot season, with the aim of striking a good balance between our determination to reduce our energy consumption and our desire to provide a pleasant environment for customers and staff.

We have a Crisis Committee and a multi-disciplinary pandemic contingency planning team comprising representatives from various divisions of the Bank to implement comprehensive damage control measures to enable us to continue to provide services to the public in the event of an outbreak of influenza or other contagious disease.

We have implemented a wide range of measures and procedures to minimise potential safety hazards for both staff and customers in our premises, including non-slip treatments on floor surfaces and use of clear and conspicuous signage for temporary safety hazards such as wet floors.

To help ensure the good occupational health of our customers and staff, we provide ergonomically designed furniture and related equipment.

We provide safety training and conduct periodic emergency evacuation drills to ensure that our employees can efficiently and effectively identify, eliminate and/or mitigate any potential safety risk to customers and staff arising from fire or similar emergency situations. We have appointed Fire Marshalls in all our premises. We also have training arrangements in place to ensure that a number of employees hold Qualified First Aider status and take regular First Aid refresher courses for the benefit of their colleagues and customers in the event of a medical emergency or accident.