Chapter

Hang Seng Bank

Stanley S.K. Kwan and Nicole Kwan

in The Dragon and the Crown

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9789622099555
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207530 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789622099555.003.0004
Hang Seng Bank

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This chapter chronicles Stanley Kwan's introduction to the Hang Seng Bank, a Chinese bank which was just beginning to expand in the world market. After years of being employed in jobs that were associated with war and politics, Stanley Kwan finally ceded to his father's wish of having a son venturing in the business of banking, a business closely associated with the roots of the Kwan family. In addition to narrating Kwan's experience as a researcher and head of the research team of Hang Seng, the chapter also looks at the humble beginnings of the Hang Seng Bank which would become one of the most influential banks in Hong Kong. The Hang Seng Bank started as a typical Chinese yinhao along one of the narrow streets of Hong Kong. Starting as a gold trader, Hang Seng rose to being one of Hong Kong's most established banks. While other banks merged with international banks, Hang Seng focused on smaller businesses. From here, Hang Seng rose to being the largest Chinese-owned commercial bank, all within a span of thirty years. However, this success was met by the turmoil of 1967, plummeting business and the economy to its nadir. Despite of the turmoil, Hong Kong rebounded quickly. As the stocks rose and as the economy improved, Hang Seng went through a project that would create a massive change in the status quo of the Hong Kong economy and the Hang Seng business. In 1969, Hang Seng decided to put up the Hang Seng Index to measure the performance of the stock market for their own benefit as well as for their customer's reference. Although faced with criticism and with glitches, the Hang Seng Index thrived and became successful. It also paved Stanley Kwan's path to public service, wherein he worked with the bank and the government for eight years.

Keywords: Hang Seng Bank; banking; gold trader; Chinese-owned commercial bank; business; Hong Kong economy; public service; Hang Seng Index; stock market

Chapter.  14941 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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