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Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA)


The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is the governmental authority in Hong Kong responsible for maintaining monetary and banking stability. Established in 1993, it functions as a de facto central bank. Its main roles include managing the Hong Kong dollar’s exchange rate, managing Hong Kong’s exchange fund, and ensuring the stability and integrity of the financial system.


Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) in phonetics would be: Hahng Kong Muh-ne-tair-ee Uh-thor-i-tee (eych-key-em-ey)

Key Takeaways

  1. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is the governmental body in Hong Kong responsible for maintaining monetary and banking stability. This includes overseeing banks, promoting the stability and integrity of the financial system, and managing the Exchange Fund.
  2. Founded in 1993, the HKMA also plays a significant role in formulating and implementing monetary policy and regulatory initiatives. It operates under the principle of “one country, two systems,” working to integrate Hong Kong with mainland China while maintaining a separate and independent financial system.
  3. HKMA also functions as the de facto Central Bank, issuing bank notes, managing the foreign reserves and promoting the safety and efficiency of the banking system. Its primary mission is to ensure that Hong Kong’s position as an international financial center is secured.


The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is vital as it serves as the central banking institution and the regulatory authority for financial institutions in Hong Kong. The HKMA is responsible for maintaining monetary and banking stability, including maintaining currency stability, ensuring the stability and the integrity of the monetary and financial systems, and overseeing the effective working of Hong Kong’s financial infrastructure. It’s execution of these functions plays an important role in promoting the sustained stability and integrity of Hong Kong’s highly developed and globally integrated financial markets, making it an attractive hub for international business and finance.


The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) serves as the government’s monetary and financial policy authority with the primary purpose to maintain monetary and banking stability in the region. HKMA coalesces the roles of the central bank and the regulatory authority of banks that were previously held by separate entities. As such, it has a wide range of functions, from preserving the stability of the Hong Kong dollar, managing the Exchange Fund, promoting the general stability and integrity of the financial system, to maintaining Hong Kong as an international financial center.In detail, the HKMA sets the monetary policy by adjusting interest rates to maintain the prefixed exchange rate of the Hong Kong dollar to the US dollar. Its regulatory role over banks involves making sure that they operate within the rules and regulations designed to prevent financial crises. If a bank fails to meet these criteria, the HKMA has the power to enact disciplinary measures. Furthermore, it’s the HKMA’s function to maintain physical cash; they issue banknotes, handle government payments, and manage the fiscal reserves of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. All these efforts are to ensure that Hong Kong remains a solid and reliable player in the global financial market.


1. Guideline Issuance: A real-world example of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s (HKMA) work is its guidelines issuance for banks. In response to the global financial crisis in 2008, the HKMA issued a guideline to the banks in Hong Kong, requiring them to enhance their liquidity risk management systems. This step was taken to ensure the stability of the banking sector in Hong Kong amid the international financial turmoil.2. Regulatory Measures: The HKMA introduced measures to stem concerns of a property bubble in Hong Kong. Starting from 2013, the HKMA has tightened mortgage lending rules multiple times. These measures lower the borrower’s applicable maximum property-value-to-loan ratio, and/or increase the borrower’s minimum stressed Debt-Servicing Ratio. These activities are part of the HKMA’s function of promoting the stability and integrity of the financial system3. Digital Banking Licenses: In 2019, the HKMA demonstrated their ability to adapt to changes in the finance sector by issuing eight virtual banking licenses. This allowed online-only banks to operate in Hong Kong, marking a new era in the city’s banking sector. The move also empowers the HKMA to monitor and regulate these new entities, ensuring consumer protections are upheld and financial stability is maintained.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA)?

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is Hong Kong’s de facto central bank, responsible for maintaining the stability of the currency and the banking system in the region. It was established in 1993.

What are the functions of the HKMA?

The HKMA’s primary functions include maintaining monetary and banking stability, managing the Exchange Fund, supervising banks, promoting the stability and integrity of the financial system, and managing Hong Kong’s official reserves.

What is the Exchange Fund managed by the HKMA?

The Exchange Fund is a reserve of assets that is managed by the HKMA. Its primary objective is to affect the exchange value of the Hong Kong currency, though it can also be used to maintain monetary and financial stability.

Who is the head of the HKMA?

The HKMA is headed by the Chief Executive, who is appointed by the Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Government.

How does the HKMA contribute to the stability of the Hong Kong banking sector?

The HKMA supervises banks through on-site examinations and off-site surveillance, takes action to resolve problems, and collaborates with other regulatory authorities to ensure financial stability.

Is the HKMA responsible for formulating monetary policies?

Yes, the HKMA is responsible for formulating and implementing monetary policies to safeguard the stability of the Hong Kong dollar and the financial system.

How is the HKMA structured?

The organization of the HKMA includes the Office of the Chief Executive and several divisions responsible for monetary management, financial infrastructure, banking conduct, and other specialized areas.

Are all banks in Hong Kong regulated by the HKMA?

Yes, all banking institutions operating in Hong Kong are regulated by the HKMA. It ensures that these institutions comply with laws, regulations, and codes to maintain the integrity and stability of the financial sector.

Where can I find the HKMA’s latest monetary and financial stability reports?

The latest reports and publications from the HKMA can be found on their official website.

How can one contact the HKMA?

One can contact the HKMA through mail, phone or email. The contact details are provided on their official website.

Related Finance Terms

  • Monetary Policy Committee
  • Reserve Management
  • Exchange Fund
  • Banking Stability
  • Banking Supervision Department

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