The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) is a statutory organisation governed by the Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation Ordinance (Chapter 1115) (HKECIC Ordinance). The Corporation is committed to high standards of corporate governance and stresses integrity, accountability and transparency in its corporate governance framework.
Under the HKECIC Ordinance, the Advisory Board is established to advise the Corporation in the conduct of its business. The Advisory Board currently consists of nine members, including the chairman, from various industries, and two members respectively from the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. In accordance with its rules and procedures, the Advisory Board holds meetings three times a year to discuss and advise the Corporation in the conduct of its business including matters such as the annual budget, corporate and strategic plans, performance evaluations, remuneration adjustments, and reports from the Investment Committee and the Audit Committee, etc.
The number of Advisory Board members (including the chairman) was reduced from the previous 12 to the current 11 since 26 June 2017 when the independent Insurance Authority replaced the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance to regulate insurance companies. As a result, the ex-officio membership of the Commissioner of Insurance or his representative on the Advisory Board ceased on the same date.
The Audit Committee is established under the Advisory Board to advise the Corporation on internal controls and corporate governance issues and consider the Corporation’s auditing matters in accordance with its Terms of Reference. The Audit Committee currently comprises a chairman and three members from the Advisory Board. As per its rules and procedures, the Audit Committee holds meetings three times a year to advise the Corporation on internal controls and corporate governance issues and consider the Corporation’s auditing matters, and reports to the Advisory Board.
The Corporation maintains an Internal Audit Unit to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of its internal control system. The Internal Audit Unit of the Corporation reports directly to the Audit Committee, which in turn reviews and endorses the internal audit plan to ensure adequate audit coverage of operations. It also reviews major findings and recommendations arising from the internal audit process and other relevant authorities as well as monitors progress in implementing adopted recommendations. The Audit Committee meets with the external auditor every year to discuss any areas of concern and matters arising from the audit of the financial statements. Under the Corporation's whistle-blowing mechanism, any staff member can report instances of violation of the Code of Conduct or applicable laws and regulations directly to the chairman of the Audit Committee or through the Internal Audit Unit.
The Investment Committee is established under the Advisory Board to advise the Corporation in the conduct of investment matters in accordance with its Terms of Reference. The Investment Committee currently comprises a chairman and three members from the Advisory Board. As per its rules and procedures, the Investment Committee holds meetings four times a year to advise the Corporation in the conduct of investment matters, and reports to the Advisory Board.
The Corporation maintains regular two-way communication with the CEDB to ensure a high level of transparency. Other than providing routine reports on financial and corporate matters, the Corporation also consults the CEDB from time to time on new measures and services related to the discharge of its public mission, as well as seek approval for the annual budget and the corporate plan.
The Corporation strives to maintain a sound internal control system and risk management regime.
The Corporation devotes much effort in maintaining an effective internal control system. It has in place an organisation structure with clearly defined functions and segregated duties, and a set of regularly updated policies, procedures and guidelines. The management adopts a systematic approach to monitor, improve and refine internal controls and to enhance efficiency of the established policies. It also endeavours to integrate market best practices into daily operations. In addition, various internal committees have been established to oversee business and operations to ensure robust controls and proper check and balance.
Enterprise Risk Management
The Corporation sets as its target the maintenance of an effective enterprise risk management framework. Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Committee was established to oversee risks and emerging risks, and establish and refine respective risk management policies. The ERM Committee meets regularly to discuss risk assessment results and ensure residual risks are maintained at an acceptable level.
Each staff member is required to take an oath of secrecy under Section 31 of the HKECIC Ordinance to safeguard the confidentiality of information and to follow the Corporation’s Code of Conduct. Staff members are assessed annually on their understanding of the Code of Conduct, which encourages them to constantly adopt these best practices.