Category Archives: Stacey

Head in the Clouds

Bill Stacey, Next Magazine, November 15, 2012, A004.

High above Central in an eyrie so elevated that most people would get dizzy looking down, lies the offices of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). Its primary responsibilities are to maintain currency and banking stability, which require very specific and skilled, but limited, resources. However, the HKMA has always blanched at these constraints and envisioned a wider role as the “central bank of Hong Kong”.

Its expanding role can be seen in many areas. Take the budget. Compound average growth in its administrative budget is 10.4% over the 8 years to 2012 compared to government’s 4.4% in the same period. Its 2012 spending is set to go up by a further 24%. It is worth noting that it is not staff numbers (+4% per annum over 8 years) but staff costs (+5.6% per head, per annum over 8 years) that are amongst the main drivers. Consumer protection and the management of complaints have expanded to as much as 12% of total spending. Read the rest of this entry