Key Information

inSight
Speeches
Speeches by Speaker
Norman T.L. Chan
Peter Pang
Eddie Yue
Arthur Yuen
Zeti Akhtar Aziz
Raymond Li
Edmond Lau
Esmond Lee
Meena Datwani
Vincent W.S. Lee
James Lau
Joseph Yam
Y K Choi
William Ryback
David Carse
Tony Latter
Andrew Sheng
Hans Genberg
Simon Topping
Michael Taylor
The Honourable Donald Tsang
Chen Yuan
Dai Xianglong
Don Brash
Jaime Caruana
Andrew Crockett
Mario Draghi
David Eldon
Stanley Fischer
Timothy F. Geithner
Stephen Grenville
Kenneth G. Lay
William McDonough
Ernest Patrikis
Glenn Stevens
Jean-Claude Trichet
Tarisa Watanagase
Zeti Akhtar Aziz
Carmen Chu
Alan Au
Press Releases
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
Press Releases by Category
Bogus Voice Message Phone Calls
Banking in Hong Kong
Fraudulent Websites, E-mails and Telephone System, and other fraud cases
Granting of Banking Licences
Exchange Fund
Table of Multiples of Notes and Payments for Allotted Amount under non-competitive tender
Table of Multiples of Notes and Payments of Application Amount under non-competitive tender
Tender of Exchange Fund Bills and Notes
Tender Results of Exchange Fund Bills and Notes
Tentative Issuance Schedule for Exchange Fund Bills and Notes
Appointments and Departures
HKMA Pay Review
HKMA Publications
Speeches
The Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation
Hong Kong Note Printing Limited
Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research
Exchange Fund Investment Limited
Others
Hong Kong Financial Infrastructure
International Relations
Investment Products Related to Lehman Brothers
Monetary Policy
Notes and Coins
Renminbi business
Credit Card Lending Survey
Monetary Statistics
Residential Mortgage Survey
Year 2000
Others
Guidelines and Circulars
Guidelines
Circulars
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
515.5995

Guidelines & Circulars

Our Ref.: B1/15C
G12/177C

16 June 2009

The Chief Executive
All Authorized Institutions

Dear Sir/Madam,

Preparedness for Human Swine Influenza Pandemic in Hong Kong

I am writing to draw your attention to the recent escalation of the pandemic alert level from Phase 5 to 6 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and remind authorized institutions (AIs) to step up their preparedness for a human swine influenza pandemic.

In the light of WHO's decision to escalate the pandemic alert to Phase 6 level, AIs are reminded to put in place immediately all necessary precautionary and contingency measures for the "Serious Response Level" and consider invoking the relevant measures for the "Emergency Response Level"1. A multi-disciplinary pandemic contingency team with sufficient authority and representatives from all key operational areas of your institution should be formed to monitor, and ensure completion of, the implementation of these measures. These should, among others, include:

  1. Ascertaining the following precautionary measures and responses are put in place:
    1. a clear command, control and communication structure for crisis management is established for effective monitoring of the latest developments of the pandemic and managing any possible incidents;
    2. a monitoring mechanism is implemented to track any abnormal sickness and suspected infection of employees and to keep the HKMA apprised immediately of the latest situation;
    3. a communication plan, including guidelines for media handling, pre-arrangements of official spokespersons, sample press releases and/or frequently asked questions for communicating with key external parties (e.g., customers, counterparties, the media and other stakeholders) for different possible scenarios is established;
    4. computer systems have adequate capacity to cater for potential upsurge in transaction volume, particularly the on-line channels;
  2. Reviewing the readiness of the following emergency responses and contingency measures to ensure that they are ready for activation if needed:
    1. sufficient equipment and devices are in place to support the activation of "work from home" and/or "split operations" strategies;
    2. the bare minimum services (e.g. Internet banking, phone banking, ATM services, payment-related services, access to safe-deposit boxes under special requests) are determined in advance and the contingency arrangements are planned accordingly;
    3. detailed contingency plans are in place for branch closure in case of need, due to healthcare concerns (e.g. where there are suspected infection by staff working at a branch), including how to communicate with customers and to address the possible impact on customers.

AIs should refer to the guidelines issued by the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health2 from time to time, and the guidance set out in the relevant circulars and guidelines3 issued by the HKMA when implementing their emergency response and contingency measures for the pandemic. Given the increased level of threats of a widespread of human swine influenza in Hong Kong, AIs should remain vigilant and continue to review the adequacy of their emergency preparedness.

The HKMA will continue to monitor the development and issue further guidance to AIs where necessary.

Yours faithfully,

Nelson Man
Executive Director
(Banking Supervision)

1 The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSARG) has developed the Framework of Government's Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic, which includes a three-level response system (Alert Response Level, Serious Response Level and Emergency Response Level) based on different risk-graded epidemiological scenarios. The HKSARG has escalated the response level from "serious" to "emergency" on 1 May 2009.

2 See: http://www.chp.gov.hk/view_content.asp?lang=en&info_id=14843

3 Including circulars on "Business continuity planning considerations relating to SARS" (2003), "Preparedness for Influenza Pandemic in Hong Kong" (2005), "Examinations on Preparedness for Influenza Pandemic" (2006), as well as the Supervisory Policy Manuals modules on "Business Continuity Planning" (2002).

Last revision date: 1 August 2011
ABOUT THE HKMA
The HKMA
Tender Invitations
Careers@HKMA
Legislative Council Issues
Links
The HKMA Information Centre
KEY FUNCTIONS
Monetary Stability
Banking Stability
International Financial Centre
Exchange Fund
PUBLICATIONS & RESEARCH
Annual Report
Half-Yearly Monetary & Financial Stability Report
Quarterly Bulletin
HKMA Background Briefs
Reference Materials
Research
MARKET DATA & STATISTICS
CMU Bond Price Bulletin
Economic & Financial Data for Hong Kong
Monthly Statistical Bulletin
Monetary Statistics
KEY INFORMATION
Press Releases
Speeches
Guidelines & Circulars
Forthcoming Events
inSight
OTHER INFORMATION
Information in Other Languages (Bahasa Indonesia, हिन्दी, नेपाली, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ, Tagalog, ไทย, اردو)
Account Opening
Consumer Corner
Consumer Education Programme
Complaints about Banks
Complaints about SVF Licensees
Internet Banking
Fraudulent Bank Websites, Phishing E-mails and Similar Scams
Be Careful of Bogus Phone Calls and SMS Messages
Authenticate the Callers and Bank Hotline Numbers
Register of AIs & LROs
Register of Securities Staff of AIs
Register of SVF Licensees
Investment Products Related to Lehman Brothers
Photo Gallery