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LCQ6: Development of the banking industry

     Following is a question by the Hon Ng Leung-sing and a reply by the Acting Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Ms Julia Leung, in the Legislative Council today (October 31):


     Hong Kong has developed into a major international financial centre in recent years, and the financial services industry has become the second largest pillar of the economy of Hong Kong.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the value added of the banking industry, including licensed banks, restricted licence banks and deposit-taking companies, and its percentage in the Gross Domestic Product in each of the past three years;

(b) the respective percentages of employment in the banking industry in the working population and the total employment of Hong Kong in the past three years; and

(c) its concrete plans on the development of the banking industry for the consideration of the to-be-established Financial Services Development Council?



     Hong Kong is the world's 9th and Asia's 3rd largest international banking centre, and the 6th largest centre for foreign exchange trading.  As at end of September this year, 70 of the world's 100 top banks have operations in Hong Kong.  The banking industry is indeed an important pillar to support the financial services industry and the real economy.

     The Administration's reply to the question raised by the Hon Ng is as follows-

(a) According to published statistics, the value added of the local banking industry amounted to HK$157 billion in 2010, accounting for 9% of the gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices.  The value added in 2009 and 2008 were HK$147.8 billion and HK$157.7 billion respectively, accounting for 9.3% and 9.7% of our GDP in the respective year.

(b) In 2011, the banking industry employed about 96,300 people, accounting for 2.7% of the total employment.  The employment of the banking industry in 2010 and 2009 numbered about 91,700 and 92,700 respectively, accounting for 2.6% and 2.7% of the total employment in the respective year.

(c) The Preparatory Task Force on Financial Services Development Council (the Preparatory Task Force) is actively studying matters in relation to the establishment of a Financial Services Development Council (FSDC).  The Preparatory Task Force has consulted industry players extensively, drawing reference from overseas models and experiences, and taking into account the unique needs of Hong Kong's financial services industry, with a view to submitting a report to the Chief Executive shortly on its recommendations regarding the positioning, terms of reference, governance structure and modus operandi of the future FSDC.  The Administration will announce its decision on the arrangements for establishing the FSDC after considering the report.

     As shown in the reply in (a) and (b), the financial services industry, including the banking sector, is an important pillar of Hong Kong economy. It also creates a lot of job opportunities. Responses collected during the consultation towards the proposal to set up the FSDC from financial services industry players, including those from the banking sector, are generally positive and supportive.  They have also offered concrete and specific views and suggestions on the future directions of the work of the FSDC.  The industry is of the general view that the key role of the FSDC is to provide advice to the Administration, with a view to enhancing the competitiveness of the local financial services industry and further developing Hong Kong's financial markets.  These views and suggestions will be forwarded to the future FSDC for consideration.  We trust that the future FSDC will provide a useful platform for representatives from various financial services sectors to provide the Administration with practicable suggestions in respect of measures for the sustainable development of Hong Kong's financial services industry.

Ends/Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Issued at HKT 15:10


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