The Enhanced Competency Framework (ECF) was developed by a Task Force which is chaired by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and comprises representatives from Private Wealth Management Association (PWMA), The Hong Kong Institute of Bankers, Hong Kong Securities and Investment Institute, and Treasury Markets Association. The ECF sets out an enhanced level of competency expected of Relevant Practitioners in the Private Wealth Management (PWM) industry. The ECF is a voluntary scheme. It is separate from the existing licensing or registration regime for the securities industry. For the avoidance of doubt, individuals are still required to meet the licensing or registration requirements under the Securities and Futures Ordinance.

The ECF’s objective is to ensure individuals engaged in providing services to PWM clients have an enhanced level competency in the technical and ethics and compliance areas. Accordingly, the ECF covers knowledge of major Asia-Pacific markets, with emphasis on ethics and compliance, and application of PWM- related knowledge.

The PWMA will be administering the accreditation and exemption under the ECF, Certified Private Wealth Professional (CPWP) certification, Certified Private Wealth Professional Associate (CPWPA) certification, and on-going professional training for its PWM member institutions.

Please refer to “Routes to Meet Enhanced Competency Framework (ECF) Benchmark” for details.


PWM Institutions

For the purpose of the ECF, PWM institutions refers to:

  1. Private banks or authorized institutions (as defined in section 2 of the Banking Ordinance (CAP155)) with dedicated private banking units which maintain a personalized relationship with private banking customers[1] and provide personalized banking services, dealing, advisory or portfolio management services to these customers;
  2. Corporations licensed with the Securities and Futures Commission that provide dealing, advisory, or asset/portfolio management services to clients who fall under the definition of private banking customers.

Relevant Practitioners

Relevant Practitioners refer to new entrants and existing PWM industry practitioners engaged by PWM institutions who are in customer-facing roles making personalized or customized solicitations or recommendations to customers in provision of securities dealing and advisory service and/or portfolio management service.

PWM institutions may make reference to the Definition of “Relevant Practitioners” for examples of functional titles, and key roles and required competence in determining whether a customer-facing staff performs substantially all of the roles described hence should be classified as a Relevant Practitioner.

[1] A “private banking customer” refers to a customer who maintains a personalized relationship with the PWM institution and receives personalized banking services, dealing, advisory or asset / portfolio management services from the PWM institution, and has:

(a) at least USD3 million or its equivalent in any other currency in investable assets; or
(b) at least USD1 million or its equivalent in any other currency in investable assets under the PWM institution’s management.

Investable assets comprise securities, deposits and certificates of deposits. The amount may be calculated on a relationship basis covering (i) individual accounts; (ii) joint accounts with associates; and (iii) personal investment companies wholly-owned by the individual or jointly owned with associates. Associate means the spouse or any child of that individual.