The HKMA is an integral part of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government. In its day-to-day work the HKMA operates with a high degree of autonomy within the relevant statutory powers conferred upon, or delegated to, the Monetary Authority. The autonomy is complemented by a high degree of accountability and transparency.
As Hong Kong’s central banking institution, the HKMA is committed to high standards of corporate governance, in the belief that good governance is crucial in maintaining and safeguarding the trust and confidence of the public in the HKMA to fulfil its statutory mandate. To achieve this commitment, the HKMA:
The Monetary Authority is appointed under the Exchange Fund Ordinance to assist the Financial Secretary in performing his functions under the Exchange Fund Ordinance and to perform such other functions as are assigned by other Ordinances or by the Financial Secretary. The office of the Monetary Authority is known as the HKMA, and the Monetary Authority is the Chief Executive of the HKMA.
The powers, functions and responsibilities of the Monetary Authority are set out in the Exchange Fund Ordinance, the Banking Ordinance, the Financial Institutions (Resolution) Ordinance, the Deposit Protection Scheme Ordinance, the Payment Systems and Stored Value Facilities Ordinance, and other relevant Ordinances.
The division of functions and responsibilities in monetary and financial affairs between the Financial Secretary and the Monetary Authority is set out in an exchange of letters dated 25 June 2003. The exchange of letters discloses delegations made by the Financial Secretary to the Monetary Authority.
The HKMA is accountable to the public of Hong Kong through the Financial Secretary, who appoints the Monetary Authority, and through the laws passed by the Legislative Council that set out the Monetary Authority’s powers and responsibilities.
There is a formal commitment from the Chief Executive of the HKMA to appear before the Panel on Financial Affairs of the Legislative Council three times a year to brief Members and to answer questions on the HKMA’s work. Representatives from the HKMA also attend Legislative Council panel and committee meetings from time to time to explain and discuss particular issues and to assist Members in their scrutiny of draft legislation.
All departments and divisions have ownership and responsibility to assess risks and formulate proper controls of their operational processes to guide the day-to-day operations of the HKMA. This serves as the first line of defence for risk management.
Organisational Risk Management
Risk management is also undertaken at the corporate level, with the Risk Committee, chaired by the Chief Executive of the HKMA, being one of the cornerstones of the organisational risk management framework.
Potential and emerging risks identified by the functional units, and the adequacy of the control measures and mitigating strategies they devise, are reported to and discussed at the Risk Committee, which decides on appropriate follow-up actions.
The Internal Audit Division of the HKMA independently assesses the adequacy and effectiveness of control, risk management and governance processes of different functional units, and advises on areas for improvement.
In accordance with section 7 of the Exchange Fund Ordinance, the Audit Commission of the HKSAR Government audits the financial statements of the Exchange Fund.
The audited financial statements of the Exchange Fund are included in the HKMA Annual Report.
A Code of Conduct, which provides guidance to employees on their ethical and legal responsibilities, is put in place to ensure that staff behaviours are consistent with specified standards at all levels.
The HKMA’s bilingual website carries a large number of HKMA publications, press releases, speeches and presentations, in addition to special sections on research, statistics, and other topics. It is constantly updated to disseminate latest information in a timely manner. The HKMA also launched the Open Application Programming Interface (Open API) on its website to provide convenient access by the public to the HKMA’s important information.
The HKMA publishes various types of publications to update the public on its work, as well as information and analyses on monetary, banking and economic issues in Hong Kong.
Public and Consumer Education
The HKMA maintains an Information Centre and organises public education programmes to promote public understanding of its work as well as monetary and banking matters. The Smart Consumers section on the HKMA’s website provides the public with a wealth of information and smart tips on the use of banking and related products and services.
Enquiries and Complaints Handling
The HKMA takes public enquiries and complaints seriously. A dedicated Public Enquiry Service has been set up to handle enquiries received from multiple channels. Procedures on complaints against banks and stored value facility licensees are also set out clearly on the HKMA’s website.
Media and Social Media
The HKMA works closely with the media to enhance the transparency and promote public understanding of its policies and work through various forms of press events. Social media platforms are also used to further strengthen its communications with the public in the digital era.
Industry Guidance and Consultation
The HKMA maintains close dialogue with and provides guidance to the industry on regulatory standards through circulars, FAQs and other channels. Public consultation is conducted as appropriate before formulating regulations and standards so as to convey the objective of the proposals to, and allow feedback from, the industry.