Wing Lung Bank

One of Hong Kong's oldest local banks, Wing Lung Bank is no different from its peers in the finance industry--it takes security seriously. But, what sets the Chinese bank apart is its commitment to use technology to improve the company's operations and work processes.Founded in 1933 by the late Wu Yee Sun, with an initial capital of HK$44,500 (US$5,732), Wing Lung Bank today operates 40 banking offices which provide various financial services including Internet banking and insurance broking. The ZDNet Asia Smart50 company began its IT roadmap as early as 1975, when it sought the help of an IT services vendor to install an online computer system and computerize its deposit operations.Six years later in 1981, Wing Lung decided to fully embrace the benefits that IT had to offer and set up its own computer center, and proceeded to computerize the operations of all its departments. And it has not looked back since.

Industry
Banking and financial services

Company
Founded in 1933, Wing Lung Bank is one of the oldest local banks in Hong Kong. It operates 40 banking offices, providing various banking and financial services such as foreign exchange, syndicated loan, Internet banking, insurance underwriting and insurance broking. The bank opened its first overseas branch in Los Angeles, United States, in 1984.
In its 2005 financial year, ended Dec. 31 last year, Wing Lung Bank clocked HK$1.1 billion (US$141.6 million) in consolidated net profits.

Employees
More than 1,300

IT staff
Not available

Annual IT Budget
Not available

To further improve its operations, Wing Lung built an operation center in 1996 to enable administrators to centrally manage various back-office processes and services previously handled by individual departments and bank branches.

The company began offering online banking services to its customers in 1998, and introduced electronic securities trading service a year later.

Making security a priority
Wing Lung takes security so seriously that it removed all remote access components in its Internet banking system. The bank views this move necessary because it has identified remote access tools such as e-mail and telnet, to be the cause of most online security problems today.

And expect to see all critical security tools being deployed in the bank's network, including an intrusion detection system (IDS), protocol filtering and firewall, and RACF (Resources Access Control Facility).

An IBM-developed mainframe security software, RACF verifies user ID and password, and disables Web servers from generating non-Internet banking transactions. It ensures that access is given only to authorized resources and files.

In February this year, Wing Lung's relationship with IBM China/Hong Kong received a boost when both companies signed a three-year agreement to develop new applications for the bank worth US$1.8 million.

The deal aims to transform Wing Lung's products, services and customer channels, as well as support its expansion into mainland China, according to a media statement.

Under the agreement, IBM will deliver application development and management services through a new facility located at Big Blue's Shenzhen global delivery center. Jointly developed by both companies, the facility will aim to streamline and modernize processes and tools used to create the bank's software applications.

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