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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Banking supervision and regulation by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) remain strong. This assessment confirms the 2014 Basel Core Principles assessment that the HKMA achieves a high level of compliance with the BCPs. The Basel III framework (and related guidance) and domestic and cross-border cooperation arrangements are firmly in place. The HKMA actively contributes to the development and implementation of relevant international standards. Updating their risk based supervisory approach helped the HKMA optimize supervisory resources. The HKMA’s highly experienced supervisory staff is a key driver to achieving one of the most sophisticated levels of supervision and regulation observed in Asia and beyond.
Yiping Huang, Ms. Longmei Zhang, Zhenhua Li, Han Qiu, Tao Sun, and Xue Wang
Promoting credit services to small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) has been a perennial challenge for policy makers globally due to high information costs. Recent fintech developments may be able to mitigate this problem. By leveraging big data or digital footprints on existing platforms, some big technology (BigTech) firms have extended short-term loans to millions of small firms. By analyzing 1.8 million loan transactions of a leading Chinese online bank, this paper compares the fintech approach to assessing credit risk using big data and machine learning models with the bank approach using traditional financial data and scorecard models. The study shows that the fintech approach yields better prediction of loan defaults during normal times and periods of large exogenous shocks, reflecting information and modeling advantages. BigTech’s proprietary information can complement or, where necessary, substitute credit history in risk assessment, allowing unbanked firms to borrow. Furthermore, the fintech approach benefits SMEs that are smaller and in smaller cities, hence complementing the role of banks by reaching underserved customers. With more effective and balanced policy support, BigTech lenders could help promote financial inclusion worldwide.
Majid Bazarbash
Recent advances in digital technology and big data have allowed FinTech (financial technology) lending to emerge as a potentially promising solution to reduce the cost of credit and increase financial inclusion. However, machine learning (ML) methods that lie at the heart of FinTech credit have remained largely a black box for the nontechnical audience. This paper contributes to the literature by discussing potential strengths and weaknesses of ML-based credit assessment through (1) presenting core ideas and the most common techniques in ML for the nontechnical audience; and (2) discussing the fundamental challenges in credit risk analysis. FinTech credit has the potential to enhance financial inclusion and outperform traditional credit scoring by (1) leveraging nontraditional data sources to improve the assessment of the borrower’s track record; (2) appraising collateral value; (3) forecasting income prospects; and (4) predicting changes in general conditions. However, because of the central role of data in ML-based analysis, data relevance should be ensured, especially in situations when a deep structural change occurs, when borrowers could counterfeit certain indicators, and when agency problems arising from information asymmetry could not be resolved. To avoid digital financial exclusion and redlining, variables that trigger discrimination should not be used to assess credit rating.
International Monetary Fund. Communications Department

Abstract

Address at the Bank of England Twentieth Anniversary Conference London, U.K. September 29, 2017 International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde delivered this address at the Bank of England conference, “Independence—20 Years On” in London, U.K., on September 29, 2017.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Basel Core Principles (BCP) for Effective Banking Supervision Detailed Assessment Report has been prepared in the context of the Financial Sector Assessment Program for the People’s Republic of China–Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) supervises a major international financial center which was affected, though not significantly so, by the financial crisis. The HKMA is maintaining its commitment to the international regulatory reform agenda and is an early adopter of many standards. Supervisory practices, standards, and approaches are well integrated, risk based and of very high quality. There is one area in relation to the overarching legislative framework and powers which warrants further attention. The HKMA enjoys clear de facto but not de jure operational independence. There are two important cross border dimensions for Hong Kong as an international financial center. One is related to HKSAR’s significant position as a host supervisor. The second is the increasing importance of Mainland China in the current portfolios and prospects of the locally incorporated institutions, and indeed in the choice of HKSAR as a platform for overseas institutions to establish relationships with Mainland China.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note on Crisis Management and Bank Resolution Framework was prepared in the context of the Financial Sector Assessment Program for the People’s Republic of China–Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Overall, the existing institutional framework facilitates communication and coordination domestically, as well as on a cross-border basis. Information sharing and coordination among domestic regulatory authorities and with the Government is undertaken through a variety of formal mechanisms, which are supported by sound legal bases for the exchange of confidential information. There are complementary structures in place for macro- and micro-prudential supervision that contribute to the prevention and identification of problems in banks. Market-wide or bank intrinsic risk issues will be identified by macroprudential surveillance and bank supervision in the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, or by other financial sector regulatory bodies. The deposit protection scheme is transparent, and trusted; however, steps should be taken to enhance efficiency of pay-outs and to ensure the scheme’s sustainability.