The Bank of East Asia

About BEA

Responsible Business

 Growing Our Business Responsibly

Upholding the highest standards of governance

We at BEA are committed to upholding the highest standards of corporate governance and acting in an accountable and transparent manner. We believe such commitment is vital in fulfilling our duty to shareholders and ensuring that the interests of diverse stakeholders are balanced.

The Board regards the Bank’s financial and non-financial performance as interlinked and that together, they will dictate our long-term success. As such, overall responsibility for sustainability at BEA lies at the Board level. Under the guidance of the Board, we constantly review and enhance the effectiveness of the Group’s corporate governance practices by referencing market trends and responding to the guidelines, requirements, and increasing expectations of our regulators, shareholders, and other stakeholders.

In conducting ESG-related activities, the Board is supported by three key governing bodies:


These governing bodies ensure that accountability for ESG performance at BEA extends throughout the Bank’s operating levels and across its markets.

Our Board-level ESG Committee oversees the Bank Group’s ESG performance, particularly in regard to strategy and reporting. For more information on the ESG Committee’s duties, please refer to its Terms of Reference.

Reporting to the ESG Committee is the ESG Steering Committee (“Steering Committee”). Chaired by Mr. Brian Li, Co-Chief Executive, the Steering Committee comprises General Managers of divisions that play a key role in BEA’s ESG performance. Among its duties, the Steering Committee is responsible for driving ESG strategy development as well as ESG target setting and performance review.

BEA’s ESG Work Group comprises Department Heads selected by the Bank’s General Managers to drive the implementation of strategies set by the Steering Committee, and to identify ESG risks and opportunities.

Further details on the Bank's corporate governance practices and policies are disclosed in the Corporate Governance section of this website and the Corporate Governance Report of the Bank Group’s Annual Report.

Answering the call on financed emissions

In 2022, BEA conducted a Scope 3 indirect emissions screening exercise, which determined that nearly all of the Group’s emissions can be attributed to its financed activities. Recognising the important role we play as a provider of capital in the fight against climate change, we have developed a roadmap to achieve net zero emissions from our financed activities by 2050.

A robust approach to risk management

The Group has also established comprehensive risk management procedures in line with the requirements set out by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (“HKMA”) to identify, measure, monitor, control, and report on the various types of risk that BEA faces, including credit risk, market risk, liquidity risk, and operational risk, and, where appropriate, to allocate capital to cover those risks.

In 2022, we enhanced our ESG risk-related infrastructure including the development of the Group’s Green and Sustainable Finance (“GSF”) framework, enhancement of prohibited lending list, a strengthened ESG checklist, and development of sector policies for high-carbon emitting sectors, starting with the property development, energy, and power utilities sectors.

For details on how BEA manages climate-related risks, please refer to the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure section of our 2022 ESG Report.

Investing and financing responsibly

As a financial services provider, BEA is uniquely positioned to make a positive impact on businesses and the economy. A successful global transition to a low-carbon economy that averts the worst effects of climate change requires capital to finance the development and deployment of new technologies to reduce emissions from across high-emitting industries.

The Group also looks to leverage its position to encourage our customers to transition to a low-carbon economy as a part of how we conduct our business and to support our partners on their own sustainability journey. By taking the ESG factors of an economic activity or project into account when making investment and lending decisions, we can identify opportunities for our Group to help provide capital that contributes towards that low-carbon transition.

Our GSF framework provides the Group with a consistent methodology and associated procedures to evaluate potential environmental and social impacts of the projects we finance, enabling our financing activities to create positive sustainable value while managing our climate risk exposure.

Safeguarding cybersecurity and data privacy

The Bank fully complies with the Hong Kong Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance and respective local personal data privacy laws and regulations in all jurisdictions in which it operates. We have implemented a suite of policies and guidelines to protect our customers’ data privacy and personal data. Our Privacy Policy Statement outlines our approach to the collection and retention of personal information in accordance with the regulatory requirements, and in 2022, a new Group Privacy Policy was established. This overarching policy provides the general principles on personal data protection which the Group should adopt.

The “Three Lines of Defence” risk management model forms the foundation of cybersecurity and data privacy governance at BEA. This model helps the Bank capture and monitor cybersecurity and data risks while at the same time delineates clear roles and responsibilities for the committees involved.

All BEA staff form the First Line of Defence. These risk owners are responsible for day-to-day technology risk management to identify, assess, report, mitigate, and monitor risks. The Second Line (Risk Controller) sets framework, policy and guidelines, and monitors technology risk management independently. Meanwhile, the Third Line (Internal Audit) is responsible for providing assurance on the effectiveness of the Bank Group’s risk management framework.

Serving Our Customers

Providing service excellence for all

Since its founding more than a century ago, BEA has grown together with the people of Hong Kong. We feel a duty to the local population and are purpose-driven to ensure underserved people in our society also have access to financial services, which is also a key focus of our regulator.

To increase access and deliver high levels of customer satisfaction, we must respond to shifting preferences. This means maintaining an extensive network of outlets, preferred by older customers, while providing core banking functions both in digital form and in-person, to respond to the needs of younger customers and the digitally savvy.

Our commitment to local businesses

The dedicated teams of our Enterprise Banking Department assist small to medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) with their business banking needs, from account opening to cash management, treasury, financing matters, and insurance services.

We enable businesses to establish and grow through our commercial loan products backed by HKMC Insurance Limited and provided via the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme. Since SMEs have been significantly affected by the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, we took our support for SMEs another step further in 2022 through the launch of a new SME lending programme. The programme aims to support their business needs and further streamline the processes involved. Recognising our long-standing support of SMEs in Hong Kong, the Bank won the “Best SMEs Partner Gold Award” for the fifth consecutive year. The Award is organised by The Hong Kong General Chamber of Small and Medium Business and is presented to companies who have won the “Best SME’s Partner Award” for ten years or more.

Cashless transactions, contactless services and mobile wealth management

Many of our customers expect fast, convenient, and secure banking services to be available via their mobile phones. The rapid digital transformation of the financial industry has provided the Group with an opportunity to extend its product and service offerings, which include:

• BEA Flash mobile account opening app allows customers to open a bank account at BEA securely and quickly, within six minutes;
• Live Chat messaging service enables BEA Flash customers to connect with the Bank’s customer service representatives for enhanced assistance in opening bank accounts outside branches;
• BEA GOAL, a digitised integrated banking service which combines deposits, wealth management, and spending rewards; and
• BEA App Mobile Wealth offers investors comprehensive investment services.

Making our services accessible to all

We strive to provide all our customers convenient access to our banking services. Specially designed teller counters and ATMs are installed across our branch network to support customers requiring wheelchair access, visual or auditory support, and other assistance. We engage our customers and provide feedback channels to help us understand where to invest to remove any existing barriers. This has led to the installation of Active Listening Systems at counters and meeting rooms in all branches to support customers with hearing impairments. To further support them, we have introduced a conversational live chat service to the BEA website and BEA App, made possible through digital advances.

Delivering banking solutions for underserved groups

We recognise the importance of charitable donations reaching their target beneficiaries. Our Online Donations Services, developed in collaboration with the Hong Kong Council of Social Services, have proven to be a highly efficient and low-cost way for non-governmental organisations (“NGOs”) to collect payments from their websites using the Bank’s payment gateway.

NGOs interested in learning more about Online Donation Services are welcome to call BEA’s Customer Service Hotline on (852) 2211 1333.

Enhancing customer satisfaction

BEA recognises the importance of trust in maintaining a strong customer relationship, and we strive to ensure consumer protection at every stage. We are a signatory of the Treat Customers Fairly (“TCF”) Charter endorsed by the HKMA. Our quest to ensure a positive customer experience is guided by ISO 10002 Quality Management: Customer Satisfaction. Applying this standard helps us to monitor trends, identify external and internal issues, and eliminate causes of complaints leading to continual improvement in our operations, products, and services.

Financial literacy

As a major financial services provider, BEA believes it has a responsibility to promote financial literacy and inclusion in our areas of operation, especially among the most vulnerable groups.

As a signatory to the TCF Charter and supporter of the Investor and Financial Education Council, BEA is committed to improving financial literacy in Hong Kong and in the other markets we serve. To achieve this, we explore different approaches on how we can integrate financial education into our service delivery and how we can adapt our approach to target different demographics and markets.

To better understand financial literacy related matters, the Bank regularly engages with external stakeholders who specialise in financial education. Through discussions, BEA staff members raise the diverse issues faced by our customers and explore ways to resolve them.

We have a strong focus on youth as we believe that financial literacy is a critical building block to their development. Through initiatives aimed at school students we aim to strengthen financial knowledge and cultivate young people’s correct views on money, consumption, and values. Since 2013, BEA China has organised a Financial Education Campus Tour together with the Shanghai Middle School Student Ethical Development Centre and Shanghai Education News Group.

After a promising response to the pilot programme first launched in 2021, BEA extended its Peer Buddy Programme to 13 select branches across Hong Kong in 2022. This programme is aimed at empowering the community’s senior citizens with the knowledge necessary to take advantage of digital banking services. Designated staff promote digital banking services to elderly customers with materials specially designed for the elderly. By arranging experienced managers to serve as Peer Buddies, BEA reduces technological challenges and encourages the use of the Bank’s digital banking services.