Standard Chartered, one of Hong Kong's three note-issuing banks, is set to launch a marketing campaign, offering credit card discounts and other incentives at participating malls to support the government's campaign to reboot the city's nightlife, according to a senior executive.
The offer may include dining deals or discounts at restaurants and shops after 9pm, provided they use the bank's credit card for payments, said Stephen Man Wai-shing, head of consumer, private and business banking at Standard Chartered Hong Kong.
The launch date and details will be announced later, he said.
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"Offering incentives for our credit card holders to shop and dine at night will boost consumption, and at the same time shows Standard Chartered's support to the government's effort to promote the night economy," Man said, noting that the bank has seen a 60 per cent year-on-year increase in credit card spending in the first eight months of the year.
Stephen Man Wai-shing, head of consumer, private and business banking at Standard Chartered Hong Kong. Photo: Jonathan Wong alt=Stephen Man Wai-shing, head of consumer, private and business banking at Standard Chartered Hong Kong. Photo: Jonathan Wong>
The government on September 14 announced its "Night Vibes Hong Kong" campaign, with a string of events and enticements to encourage the public to stay out after dark and spend money. These include waterfront bazaars, evening programmes at theme parks and museums, free entry to the Happy Valley Racecourse, film screenings and expanded pedestrian areas.
Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said at the launch ceremony that the campaign aimed at reversing the habits of people who have stopped going out at night after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Financial Secretary Paul Chan attends the Night Vibes Hong Kong campaign's launch ceremony at the M+ Museum on September 14. Photo: Sam Tsang alt=Financial Secretary Paul Chan attends the Night Vibes Hong Kong campaign's launch ceremony at the M+ Museum on September 14. Photo: Sam Tsang>
"People are going out less, and many restaurants and stores are closing earlier," Chan said. "Sometimes, things are already quiet by 9pm."
Standard Chartered's Man said the bank has no intention to keep its branches open at night.
"People go out at night to have fun with their friends and families and are unlikely to do banking or wealth management at night," Man said at a media briefing on Friday to unveil the bank's new wealth management centre in Pacific Place in Admiralty.
The 7,000 sq ft venue is Standard Chartered's fourth wealth management centre in recent years, after Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui and Central.
Man said the bank will explore opening more such centres at the airport and additional hubs in Central and Tsim Sha Tsui to attract mainland Chinese visitors and local high-net-worth clients with more than HK$1 million (US$128,250) to invest.
The number of new account openings by high-net-worth clients increased by 1.5 times in the first eight months of this year from a year earlier, helped by the border reopening in January and removal of all Covid-19 restrictions in March, Man said.
Mainland Chinese visitors who opened new accounts at the bank in the first eight months tripled from the same period last year, while the number of insurance policies sold to these clients exceeded those in the same period of 2019 before the pandemic, he added.
Nighttime revellers at Soho in Central on Friday. The Hong Kong government is encouraging consumers to spend to boost the economy. Photo: Jonathan Wong alt=Nighttime revellers at Soho in Central on Friday. The Hong Kong government is encouraging consumers to spend to boost the economy. Photo: Jonathan Wong>
Some 16.5 million travellers visited Hong Kong in the first seven months of the year, of which more than 13 million were from the mainland, according to data from the Hong Kong Tourism Board. Only 124,052 tourists visited the city during the same period last year, when the city still required visitors to be quarantined.
For the industry as a whole, life insurance sales in Hong Kong to mainland visitors surged 59-fold in the first half to reach HK$31.9 billion, according to data from the Insurance Authority.
"We are cautiously optimistic about the outlook," Man said.
"Mainland visitors are likely to continue to cross the border to Hong Kong to open bank accounts, buy insurance, wealth management or other investment products with ESG [environmental, social and governance] concept."
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