31st March 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) celebrated its 30th anniversary today with a reception attended by a number of distinguished guests, including former chief executives and financial secretaries. In his speech, current Financial Secretary Paul Chan highlighted the importance of financial stability and innovation in Hong Kong’s success over the past three decades.
Despite facing numerous challenges, including the Asian financial crisis in 1997, the global financial crisis in 2008, and the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Hong Kong’s financial system has proven to be safe and sound. Chan attributed this success to the city’s commitment to learning from experience and improving, as well as maintaining strong buffers and staying vigilant against risks that may threaten financial stability.
Chan also praised the HKMA’s efforts to ensure the stability and integrity of Hong Kong’s financial system, noting that the city not only keeps pace with international standards and best practices but goes beyond them. The HKMA has maintained strong collaboration with local, Mainland, and international regulators to ensure that evolving risks are properly addressed.
Looking to the future, Chan emphasised the importance of innovation in driving new modes of finance, particularly the use of blockchain technology. He highlighted the HKMA’s proactive role in facilitating market innovation, including introducing licences for virtual banks and implementing fintech regulatory sandboxes.
Over the past three decades, Hong Kong’s financial services have benefited from the rapid growth of the country and the staunch support of the Central Government. Chan praised the HKMA’s astute and tireless efforts, which have contributed to Hong Kong’s standing as one of the world’s leading international financial centres. The city’s banking sector’s total assets have more than quadrupled, rising from HK$6 trillion in 1993 to over HK$27 trillion today. Customer deposits have increased eight-fold, from HK$1.7 trillion to over HK$15 trillion.
Chan concluded his speech by calling on the government and regulators to take a more visionary, forthcoming, and developmental role in engaging businesses and the community and responding to their needs. He expressed confidence that the HKMA will continue to chart its path ahead with assurance, excellence, and innovation, helping the Hong Kong economy flourish through the years to come.