HKMA assures monetary and financial systems are robust

Business | 12 Feb 2020 6:14 pm

More than 70 percent of local bank branches are providing services, while ATMs are functioning as usual, said Eddie Yue Wai-man, chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

The economy has been shrinking since the middle of last year, while the catering, retail, and tourism industries are bearing the brunt of the public health crisis, Yue writes in a blog.

"Banks, e-wallet operators, and other financial institutions, while ensuring the well-being of their staff and customers, are doing their utmost to maintain normal operation of their core functions to ensure the smooth running of society and the economy."

A number of banks have activated contingency plans and special work arrangements, including the suspension of services in some branches, which inevitably have affected the public to varying degrees, he says.

Many banks have also introduced relief measures in recent days to help personal and corporate customers who are adversely affected by the outbreak, he says.

"These measures include a waiver of handling charges under the small and medium-sized enterprises financing guarantee scheme, principal moratorium for property mortgage loans, fee reduction for credit card borrowing, and restructuring of repayment schedules for corporate loans."

Despite some volatility in the stock market, it has been business as usual in financial market activities and financial infrastructure, which is clear evidence of the robustness of monetary and financial systems and the strong confidence of the market in Hong Kong.

The HKMA has activated its internal contingency plan to ensure that critical functions are maintained.

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