Hong Kong Monetary Authority

From Academic Kids

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is a government authority founded on 1 April 1993 in Hong Kong from the consolidation of the "Office of the Exchange Fund" and the "Office of the Commissioner of Banking." It reports directly to the Financial Secretary.


Responsibilities of the HKMA

Apart from its main responsibility of ensuring monetary and banking stability, it plays an important role in maintaining the stability of the Hong Kong dollar, managing Hong Kong's official reserves, the Exchange Fund, in a way that is sound and effective, keeping Hong Kong's banking system safe and constructing the financial infrastructure of Hong Kong for the smooth and free flow of money in the territory. It is also responsible for the promotion of Hong Kong's safety banking system. All these are governed by the Banking Ordinance and the Exchange Fund Ordinance.

Policy objectives of the HKMA

The strong official reserves of Hong Kong and the sound and robust banking system are parts of the important underpinnings of the Linked Exchange Rate System. Besides, in an attempt to ensure the safety and stability of the banking system, it not only regulates the banking and deposits-taking business, but also monitors authorized institutions. What’s more, it promotes the efficiency, integrity and development of the financial system, with emphasis on the payment and settlement arrangements.

Policy areas

There are several areas related to policy. They are the Financial Infrastructure, Guide to Authorization, Supervisory Policy Manual, Monetary stability, and Banking stability.

Financial infrastructure

Financial infrastructure can be divided into two major parts: Infrastructure and Debt Market Development.


The Central Money markets Unit (CMU), established by the HKMA in 1990 is to provide computerized clearing and settlement facilities for Exchange Fund Bills and Notes. It extended the service to other Hong Kong dollar debt securities in late 1993. It also offers an efficient, safe and convenient clearing and custodian system for Hong Kong dollar debt instruments. A seamless interface between the CMU and the newly launched Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) inter-bank payment system was established when the CMU Service was further extended. This enables the CMU system to provide for its members real-time and end-of-day Delivery versus Payment (DvP) services. To enhance the market infrastructure, a Securities Lending Programme for private sector securities were launched by the CMU successfully. Another objective is to enhance the liquidity of private sector debt securities by utilizing securities which held by long-term investors for short-term use by the more active market participants. The settlement efficiency for CMU private sector debt securities is improved and more investors are attracted by enhancing the yields for the lenders.

Debt market development

Including the exchange of Fund Bills and Notes Insurance Programme, Fund Notes and Notes Fixings. In fact, dealers and market makers are being recognised. Maintaining the Market-making system and the use of Exchange Fund paper as margin collateral are also some of their developments.

Guide to Authorization

The Guide to Authorization sets out the HKMA's explanation about the authorization requirements and the grounds for revocation contained in the Banking Ordinance (BO) and the procedures for applications for authorization. It also offers guidance to institutions who are seeking authorization under the BO about the scheme of supervision contained in the BO and the policies and approach of the HKMA in achieving it. It is also relevant to existing Authorized institutions as the authorization criteria continue to apply to them after authorization.

Supervisory Policy Manual

The HKMA's latest supervisory practices and policies are set out in the Supervisory Policy Manual, in order to satisfy the criteria of the BO and recommendations on best practices, the minimum standards authorized institutions (AIs) are expected to attain that AIs should aim to achieve.

This Manual will be rolled out in stages, as batches of modules are finalized. Some of which are still under preparation containing all existing circulars and guidelines issued by the HKMA for reference to readers.

Monetary Stability

Monetary Stability includes the Currency Board System and Exchange Fund.

Currency Board System

It includes the Linked Exchange Rate System and Salient Features which are the Aggregate Balance, Certificates of Indebtedness and coins issued and the Outstanding Exchange Fund Bills and Notes.

The Interest Rate Adjustment Mechanism is an automatic system that maintains the stability of the Hong Kong dollar exchange rate. Lately the HKMA has been disclosing the forecast change in the Aggregate Balance attributes to increase the transparency of the Currency Board operation.

Exchange Fund

It is now named the Exchange Fund Ordinance which was established by the Currency Ordinance in 1935. Its role was expanded - besides the assets of the Coinage Security Fund, the bulk of foreign currency assets is also one of its essential jobs. The Exchange Fund Bills Tender Results were issued.

Banking Stability

Banking Stability mainly depends on the Banking System and Supervision.

There is a three-tier system of deposit-taking institutions which is maintained and know as authorised institutions. They are so called Licensed Banks, Restricted Licence Banks and Deposit-taking Companies. But in fact, overseas banks may also establish local representative offices in Hong Kong while they are restricted in some areas, such as they can not engage in any banking businesses.

The HKMA in the community

The HKMA takes the duty to explain its policies and work to the community and makes effort to raise the concerns of the general public through a variety of channels:

  • close contacts with mass media
  • a special and regular publication ( which includes:
    • Annual Report - which explains the HKMA's work and achievements and objectives for the coming years.
    • Quarterly Bulletin - reports on and analyzes the policies of the HKMA's main activities which aims in measuring its central banking functions and explains its philosophy and policies, especially in new policies taken by HKMA.
    • Monthly Statistical Bulletin - provides monetary and financial statistic.
  • a bilingual website (
  • education programs for students
  • meetings with legislators (
  • a public enquiries service
  • an information centre (

The Chief Executive Committee of the HKMA

Base on weekly meetings, the committee reports to the Chief Executive on any progress that various departments are handling. They are also responsible for giving advice on policies that are related to the Monetary Authority to maintain a smooth operation.

Below is an organization chart of the executive committees (Sept 2003): Image:Organization_chart.jpg

Chief Executive

Missing image
Joseph Yam

Joseph Yam (任志剛) has been the Chief Executive of the HKMA since its establishment.

Deputy Chief Executive

The Deputy Chief Executive has responsibilities for financial infrastructure, monetary management, research, reserves management and international finance. Under the respective departments are various divisions, counsels and offices to carry out the department's work.

An Internal Audit Division is especially established to ensure an effective internal control of the Authority so that work can be accomplished efficiently, which is crucial to the Authority.

Missing image
Map of the HKMA
The HKMA situated at Two IFC
The HKMA situated at Two IFC

See also

External links

Organizations related to the HKMA

with brief points on their functions respectively.

  • Exchange Fund Investment Limited (EFIL) (
    • Manages the Hong Kong listed securities portfolio under the Exchange Fund
    • Disposes of the Exchange Fund's equity portfolio causing least effects to existing market.
  • Hong Kong Note Printing Ltd (HKNPL) (
    • Prints all of the banknotes for Hong Kong's three note-issuing banks - HSBC, BANK OF CHINA, STANDARD CHARTERED BANK.
  • Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research (HKIMR) (
    • Conducts research about monetary policy, banking and finance
    • Encourages both foreign and local academics and researchers to carry out research related to financial and monetary development.
  • Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Limited (HKICL) (
    • Provides interbank clearing and settlement services to all banks in Hong Kong
    • Operates a central clearing and settlement system for public and private debt securities on behalf of the HKMA.

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