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Press Release 28 December 2017

Easy Access to Information on Banking Services by Ethnic Minorities

The Hong Kong Association of Banks (HKAB), the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) jointly published today (28 December) the information on banking services in seven languages commonly used by ethnic minority (EM) community.  The materials are available on the respective websites of HKAB, HKMA, and EOC.

The translated materials include information in relation to: the general principles of the Code of Banking Practice; the Treat Customers Fairly Charter; general information about account opening; security tips on using Automated Teller Machines; understanding dormant accounts; improving financial health; and Deposit Protection Scheme.  The seven EM languages are Bahasa Indonesia, Hindi, Nepali, Thai, Tagalog, Urdu and Punjabi. 

Mrs Ann Kung, Acting Chairperson of HKAB and Deputy Chief Executive of Bank of China (Hong Kong), said, “Hong Kong is a culturally and linguistically diverse society, HKAB member banks strive to provide high-quality banking services to people from all walks of life, transcending ethnic groups.  We are pleased to introduce this very meaningful initiative together with the HKMA and the EOC.  We hope that the information on banking services in different languages could help the ethnic minority customers better understand the banking services they could enjoy.”

Mr Arthur Yuen, Deputy Chief Executive of the HKMA, said, “As part of our efforts in promoting financial inclusion, the HKMA has been encouraging banks that in providing basic banking services to members of the public, they should pay special attention to customers in need, including the ethnic minority customers.  We are pleased to have worked together with HKAB and the EOC in enhancing the transparency of information to help ethnic minority customers to better understand their rights and responsibilities when using banking services.  We will continue to collaborate with relevant stakeholders in further promoting financial inclusion.”

Professor Alfred Chan, Chairperson of the EOC underlined the need for public services to be equally accessible to people of various minorities, including ethnic minorities, “We are very pleased that the HKMA and HKAB have promptly acted on this need and taken steps towards enabling equal access to useful information about financial services by ethnic minorities.  This collaboration, signifying a joint commitment to address the language needs of ethnic minorities in the banking sector, can serve as an exemplar to other industries.”

Apart from this initiative, HKAB, the HKMA and the EOC have also arranged cultural awareness training sessions for banking staff in the past two years.  We will continue to work together to facilitate EM customers to interact with banks.

Hong Kong Association of Banks
Hong Kong Monetary Authority
Equal Opportunities Commission

28 December 2017

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