Hang Seng Bank CEO to receive medical treatment for unspecified illness, but will continue to perform duties, lender says

10-Jul-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Hang Seng Bank said on Wednesday that Louisa Cheang Wai-wan, its vice-chair and chief executive, is to receive medical attention, but will still be able to perform her duties.

The bank, a subsidiary of HSBC, said in a stock exchange filing that Cheang, 56, was “undergoing treatment for a recently diagnosed medical condition”, but did not provide any further details. People familiar with the situation said it was not Covid-19, and that she did not need to take lengthy sick leave either.

Cheang and the bank’s board of directors were confident that she could “continue to perform her duties while she undergoes treatment”, Hang Seng said in its filing. “We wish Ms Cheang a speedy recovery and send our best regards to her and her family.”

Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.

The bank added that Cheang’s situation would not affect its strategic and development plans.

The bank has had to weather recent challenges in Hong Kong, which have included the anti-government protests, the US-China trade war and the coronavirus pandemic. The city’s economy shrank by 8.9 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter, its worst since records began in 1974.

In December, the bank froze pay for its top executives, including Cheang. At the time of her appointment in July 2017, the bank said she had a fixed annual pay package of HK$8.46 million (US$1.1 million), on top of housing and other benefits, as well as a discretionary bonus.

Cheang took the top job after the retirement of Rose Lee Wai-mun retired. Hang Seng Bank has focused on financial technology during her tenure, and used technology to cut costs and enhance services. This has included the introduction of chatbots to field queries from customers, the use of voice recognition in its phone banking services, as well as fingerprint authentication in its mobile app.

Before she joined Hang Seng Bank, Cheang was a group general manager and group head of retail banking at HSBC since 2014. She joined the bank in 1999, in its credit card department, and has since worked in several roles.

Hang Seng Bank’s stock closed 0.9 per cent lower on Wednesday, at HK$132.8 per share, before the announcement about Cheang’s health was made. The bank’s share price has fallen 17.5 per cent this year, against a 7.3 per cent decline in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.



Category: China

Print This Post