It is my honour and privilege to be appointed as the Chairman of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) under the new auditor regulatory regime commencing on 1 October 2019. First and foremost, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to our Board Members, who, having been appointed from different professional backgrounds, are the invaluable assets of the FRC. I look forward to working closely with our Board Members in discharging our responsibility effectively.
Thanks to the relentless efforts of our Council Members (now Board Members), Honorary Advisers, the Financial Reporting Review Panel and management team over the past few years, the FRC has finally transformed itself to be the full-fledged independent auditor regulator of Hong Kong, vested with direct powers of inspection, investigation, recognition of overseas auditors of listed entities and discipline concerning auditors of public interest entities (PIE auditors). The FRC will also be overseeing the performance of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA) of their functions in relation to auditors of listed entities including registration; setting of standards on professional ethics, auditing and assurance; and setting of continuing professional development requirements.
In addition to the above statutory duties, we will conduct policy research on audit and financial reporting issues that are pivotal to the promotion of good corporate governance. Creating a corporate culture that is conducive to discharging our functions effectively as a financial regulator is also high on our agenda. As we appreciate the value of stakeholders engagement, we will continue engaging our stakeholders on different issues and matters to ensure that we understand the key issues faced by the practitioners. We will also strengthen our cooperation with financial regulators both locally and internationally.
To cater for our strategic focus, we have put in place a new governance structure that comprises 5 committees namely the Inspection Committee, the Investigation Committee, the Oversight, Policy and Governance Committee, the Finance and Corporate Affairs Committee and the Compensation and Nomination Committee under the Board to provide advice to the FRC. At the same time, we continue to engage our Honorary Advisers, who, with a wide spectrum of professional expertise, will continue to provide their advice and contributions to the FRC at the committee level. We have full confidence that by leveraging on the wealth of experience and expertise of our Board Members and Honorary Advisers, the FRC is well-poised to implement our mission and strategies and to discharge our expanded statutory duties as an effective regulator, a defender of law and promoter of good corporate governance.
As an effective financial regulator, we definitely need competent professionals who share the same philosophy and passion with us. We are now in the process of recruiting our CEO and other senior staff to perform our expanded functions and believe that by nurturing an appropriate corporate culture, we will be able to attract like-minded professionals to join our team.
In days to come, the FRC will hold on to our core values – independence and impartiality, accountability and transparency, integrity and proficiency to embrace the opportunities and challenges ahead, and to serve for a better auditor regulatory system, a better Hong Kong.
Dr Kelvin Wong, JP