Financial wellness covered in HKEX's guidance material for ESG reporting

In May 2019, the IFEC shared its view with Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), in relation to the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting requirements for listed companies, that financial wellbeing of employees deserves attention. In the area of “Health and Safety”, listed companies may have omitted to disclose employee wellness programme which can reduce employees’ stress and thus enhance occupational safety.

Some listed financial institutions may have also provided education to the public to enhance product disclosure and transparency, or funded and volunteered for activities that can enhance financial literacy. These relate to “Product Responsibility” and “Community Investment” aspects of the ESG report respectively but are often overlooked.

Taking this into consideration, HKEX incorporated the idea of employees’ mental health, including financial wellness, in its guidance material on ESG Reporting published in March 2020. As some listed companies, such as PCCW and CLP, have already incorporated financial wellness as part of their ESG work, the IFEC encourages other listed companies to enhance the financial wellness of their employees and support more community activities that improve the financial literacy in Hong Kong.