11 Aug 2020
“Forgive and forget but never forget to forgive,” Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi once said. This, indeed, best describes the way I feel today. After 15 years of unrelenting effort, I am delighted to announce today that I have received the official confirmation from the US government that without further litigation, or any admission of liability by any party, the sanctions on Banco Delta Asia, imposed in 2005, have been formally lifted. The Bank is pleased with this action by The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the US government. This is an important step forward for the Bank and for me personally. This action is a demonstration that perseverance is part of justice and the pursuit of the truth. Even though I have been through a very difficult time, it is time to let go of the past and move forward. However, both I and the Bank are committed to addressing any concerns of any of our regulators and the US government and to demonstrating that no future regulatory action is warranted. We look forward to continuing our dialogue with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network about our on-going efforts to combat money-laundering in all forms.
I am grateful to those who stood by us through thick and thin in this political saga. Over the years, Banco Delta Asia needed to stay vigilant and sober in the face of adversity in order to survive the tough sanctions and the unequalled peer competition. I am thankful that God made use of this opportunity to educate me and shape me into a humbler person. I also wish to take the opportunity to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the state leaders of the Central People’s Government and the Administration of the Macau SAR Government for their concern and empathy. I am indebted to the American Department of Justice, too, for its approach in applying the rule of law. Last but not the least, I would like to thank our loyal customers for their sympathy and unwavering support that enabled the Group to survive the hurricane as well as every staff member of the Group for their devotion and hard work in continuing to provide professional services.
Moving forward, I will continue to work with my daughter and successor Ms. Au Lai-chong to expand our diverse businesses, turning a new page with a more promising prospect. When the time is appropriate, we will seek to resume our US dollar business as we continue to develop our private banking services, asset management and overseas property business serving citizens in Hong Kong, Macau as well as the Greater Bay Area.
Delta Asia Financial Group will celebrate its 85th anniversary this year. Established in 1935, the Group has kept up with the times by evolving from banking services to a comprehensive financial platform covering services in financial management, securities investment, insurance service and wealth management. We are undergoing a series of reforms, including full digitalisation of services, renovation of branches and expansion of various financial management products with the aim of creating a new experience for our customers. Many more activities will be organised to celebrate this joyous anniversary event.
Incidentally, I have just entered the 80th year of my mortal life. In retrospect, I must admit that I owed my comfortable and serene living as well as my past achievements, despite my experience of the tumultuous last 15 years, to the benevolence bestowed on me by Macau, my home town. I, therefore, in reflection, am conscious that I am not what I am, but the son of Macau. Hence, for the betterment of the Macau community as a whole I will dedicate the rest of my life to pursue this goal.
To quote Gandhi again, “A happier heart is the key to a happier life.” Taking this to heart, I will work along with my daughter in the coming years to restore the former glory of Delta Asia Financial Group. The Group, which comprises the Bank in Macao and Delta Asia Financial Group in Hong Kong, is my family treasure and has survived four generations. I am determined to keep the business going and pass it on to my future generations. If God allows me to live on for another 20 years, I wish to nurture entrepreneurs in Macao, drive the development of the small and medium enterprises here, as well as spread the message of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Thank you.