About Us
About Us
Management of Risks

The Group has established systems, policies and procedures for the control and monitoring of interest rate risk, market risk, credit risk, liquidity risk and operational risk, which are approved by the Board of Directors (the “Board”) and reviewed regularly by the Group’s management, and other designated committees or working groups. Material risks are identified and assessed by designated committees and/or working groups before the launch of new products or business activities, and are monitored, documented and controlled against applicable risk limits after the introduction of new products or services or implementation of new business activities. Internal auditors of the Company also perform regular audits to ensure compliance with the policies and procedures.


Market Risk Management


(a)    Interest Rate Risk


Interest rate risk is the risk that the Group’s position may be adversely affected by a change of market interest rates. The Group’s interest rate risk arises primarily from the timing difference in the maturity and the repricing of the Group’s interest-bearing assets, liabilities and off-balance sheet commitments. The primary objective of interest rate risk management is to limit the potential adverse effects of interest rate movements in net interest income by closely monitoring the net repricing gap of the Group’s assets and liabilities. Interest rate risk is daily managed by Accounts Department of the Company. Risk Management Department measures interest rate risk exposures in the banking book on monthly basis and the results are monitored by Assets and Liabilities Management Committee (“ALCO”) against limits approved by the Board.


(b)    Currency Risk


Currency risk is the risk that the holding of foreign currencies will affect the Group’s position as a result of a change in foreign currency exchange rates. The Group’s foreign exchange risk positions arise from foreign exchange dealings. All foreign exchange positions are managed by Accounts Department within limits approved by the Board.


The Group has limited foreign currency risk as the Group’s assets and liabilities were mainly denominated in HKD. Directors considered that currency risk was insignificant to the Group. Accordingly, no quantitative market risk disclosures for currency risk have been made.


(c)    Price Risk


Price risk is the risk to the Group’s earnings and capital due to changes in the prices of securities, including debt securities and equities.


The Group did not actively trade in financial instruments and in the opinion of the Directors, the price risk related to trading activities to which the Group was exposed was not material. Accordingly, no quantitative market risk disclosures for price risk have been made.



Credit Risk Management


Credit risk is the risk that a customer or counterparty in a transaction may default. It arises from the lending and other activities undertaken by the Group.


The Group has a credit risk management process to measure, monitor and control credit risk. Its credit policy defines the credit extension and measurement criteria, the credit review, approval and monitoring processes, and the loan classification and provisioning systems. It has a hierarchy of credit authority which approves credit in compliance with the Group’s credit policy. Credit risk exposures are measured and monitored against credit limits and other control limits (such as connected exposures, large exposures and risk concentration limits approved by the Board or dedicated committees). Segregation of duties in key credit functions is in place to ensure separate credit control and monitoring. Management and recovery of problem credits are handled by an independent work-out team.


The Group manages its credit risk within a conservative framework. Its credit policy is regularly revised, taking into account factors such as prevailing business and economic conditions, regulatory requirements and its capital resources. Its policy on connected lending exposure defines and states connected parties, statutory and applicable connected lending limits, types of connected transactions, the taking of collateral, the capital adequacy treatment, and detailed procedures and controls for monitoring connected lending exposures. In general, interest rates and other terms and conditions applying to connected lending should not be more favourable than those of the loans offered to non-connected borrowers under similar circumstances. The terms and conditions should be determined on normal commercial terms at arm’s length and in the ordinary course of business of the Group.


Credit and compliance audits are periodically conducted by Internal Audit Department to evaluate the effectiveness of the credit review, approval and monitoring processes and to ensure that the established credit policies and procedures are complied with.


Compliance Department conducts compliance test at selected business units on identified high risk areas for adherence to regulatory and operational requirements and credit policies.


Credit Committee monitors the quality of financial assets which are neither past due nor impaired by financial performance indicators (such as the loan-to-value ratio, debts servicing ratio, financial soundness of borrowers and personal guarantees) through meeting discussions and management reports. Loan borrowers subject to legal proceedings, negative comments from other counterparties and rescheduled arrangements are put under watch lists or under the “special mention” grade for management oversight.


Credit Committee also monitors the quality of past due or impaired financial assets by internal grading comprising “substandard”, “doubtful” and “loss” accounts through meeting discussions and management reports. Impaired financial assets include those subject to personal bankruptcy petitions, corporate winding-up and rescheduled arrangements.


Risk Management Committee (“RMC”) is responsible for reviewing and assessing the adequacy of risk management framework for identifying, measuring, monitoring and controlling the credit risk of existing and new products, and reviewing credit risk management policies and credit risk tolerance limits.


The Group mitigates credit risk by credit protection provided by guarantors and by loan collateral such as customer deposits, properties, taxi licences and vehicles.



Liquidity Risk Management


Liquidity risk is the risk that the Group cannot meet its current obligations. Major sources of liquidity risk of the Group are the early or unexpected withdrawals of deposits in cash outflow and the delay in cash inflow from loan repayments. To manage liquidity risk, the Group has established a liquidity risk management framework which incorporates liquidity risk tolerance, management oversight on liquidity risk, liquidity risk and funding strategy, risk related metrics and tools for liquidity risk management, internal liquidity risk pricing, and the manner of reporting significant matters. The major objectives of liquidity risk management framework are to (i) specify the roles and responsibilities of relevant parties on liquidity risk management, (ii) identify, measure and control liquidity risk exposures with proper implementation of funding strategies, (iii) effectively report significant risk related matters for management oversight, and (iv) manage the liquidity profile within risk tolerance. The liquidity risk management framework is cascaded to all business lines to ensure a consistent liquidity risk strategy, policies and practices across the Group. Liquidity risk related policies are reviewed by senior management and dedicated committees, and significant changes in such policies are approved by the Board or committees delegated by the Board.


ALCO monitors the liquidity position as part of the ongoing management of assets and liabilities, and sets up trigger limits to monitor liquidity risk. It also closely monitors the liquidity of the subsidiaries on a periodic basis to ensure that the liquidity structure of the subsidiaries’ assets, liabilities and commitments can meet their funding needs, and that internal liquidity trigger limits are complied with.


Accounts Department is responsible for the centralised implementation of the strategies and policies approved by the dedicated committees and the Board, and developing operational procedures and controls to ensure the compliance with the aforesaid policies and to minimise operational disruptions in case of a liquidity crisis.


Risk Management Department is responsible for day-to-day monitoring of liquidity maintenance ratio, loans to deposits ratio, concentration risk related ratios and other liquidity risk related ratios coupled with the use of cash-flow projections, maturity ladder, stress-testing methodologies and other applicable risk assessment tools and metrics to detect early warning signals and identify vulnerabilities to potential liquidity risk on forward-looking basis with the objective of ensuring different types of liquidity risks of the Group are appropriately identified, measured, assessed and reported. It also carries out analysis based on risk-based management reports, summarise the data from those reports and presents the key liquidity information of the Group and key business lines to ALCO on a regular (at least monthly) basis. In case of significant issues, such as serious limit excesses or breaches or early warning signals of potential severe impact are identified from the aforesaid management reports or market information obtained from other business units, a designated ALCO member will convene a meeting (involving senior management members) to discuss risk related matters and propose actions to ALCO whenever necessary. A high level summary of liquidity risk performance will be presented by ALCO to RMC and the Board.


The examples of liquidity risk related metrics include liquidity maintenance ratio (with internal risk tolerance higher than the statutory liquidity maintenance ratio); cash-flow mismatches under normal and different stress scenarios; concentration related limits of deposits and other funding sources, and maturity profile of major assets and liabilities (including on-balance sheet and off-balance sheet items). The systems and procedures are in place to measure and manage liquidity risk by cash-flow projections in both baseline and stressed scenarios arising from off-balance sheet exposures and contingent funding obligations. In baseline scenario, expected cash outflow is derived from the aforesaid exposures and obligations including uncommitted facilities and other contingent obligations with regard to not only the contractual terms in agreements with customers but also the manner of past months’ utilization and genuine drawdowns of the credit facilities. In stressed scenario, the utilization and drawdowns of credit facilities is expected to escalate to some extent.


The funding strategies of the Group are to (i) diversify funding sources for mitigating liquidity risk exposures; (ii) minimise disruptions due to operational issues such as transfer of liquidity across group entities; (iii) ensure contingency funding is available to the Group; and (iv) maintain sufficient liquidity cushion to meet critical liquidity needs such as loan commitments and deposit withdrawals in stressed situations. The Group has established concentration limits of funding sources taking into account the risk profile of the Group. For instance, intra-group funding and funding from the largest funding provider are restricted to be not more than 10% and 5% of total funding sources respectively to reduce reliance on single source of funding. Medium and long term funding is maintained at a level of at least 20% of total funding sources to pursue stable funding structure.


Contingency funding plan is formulated to address liquidity needs at different stages including the mechanism for the detection of early warning signals of potential crisis at early stage and obtaining of emergency funding in bank-run scenario at later stage. Designated roles and responsibilities of Crisis Management Team, departments and business units and their emergency contact information are documented clearly in the contingency funding plan as part of business continuity planning, and contingency funding measures are in place to set priorities of funding arrangements with counterparties, to set procedures for intraday liquidity risk management and intra-group funding support, to manage media relationship and to communicate with internal and external parties during a liquidity crisis. The stress-testing results are updated and reported to senior management regularly and the results such as survival period for positive cash-flow mismatches are used in contingency funding planning and determination of the required level of liquidity cushion. Based on the results of liquidity stress-testing, standby facilities and liquid assets are maintained to provide liquidity to meet unexpected and material cash outflows in stressed situations.


The Group maintains sufficient liquidity cushion comprising mainly cash and treasury bills issued by eligible central governments to address critical and emergent liquidity needs on intraday basis and over other different time horizons. The Group is not subject to particular collateral arrangements or requirements in contracts in case there is a credit rating downgrade of entities within the Group.


Apart from cash-flow projections under the normal scenario to manage liquidity under different time horizons, different stress scenarios such as institution-specific stress scenario, the general market stress scenario and the combination of such scenarios with assumptions are set and reviewed by dedicated committees and approved by the Board. Under the institution-specific stress scenario, loan repayments from some customers are assumed to be delayed. The projected cash inflow would be affected by the increased amount of retail loan delinquencies. Regarding cash-outflow projection, part of undrawn loan facilities are not to be utilised by borrowers or honoured by the Group. The core deposits ratio would decrease as there would be fewer renewals of fixed deposits on the contractual maturity dates. In the general market stress scenario, some undrawn banking facilities are not to be honoured upon drawdown as some bank counterparties will not have sufficient liquidity to honour their obligations in market. The Group may pledge or liquidate its liquid assets such as treasury bills issued by eligible central governments to secure funding to address potential liquidity crisis. Liquidity stress-tests are conducted regularly (at least monthly) and the results are utilised for part of contingency funding plan or for providing insights to management about the latest liquidity position of the Group.



Operational Risk Management


Operational risk is defined as the risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes, human and system errors or from external events.


The Group has an operational risk management function in place to identify, measure, monitor and control operational risk. Its operational risk management policy defines the responsibilities of various committees, business units and supporting departments, and highlights key operational risk factors and categories with loss event types to facilitate the measurement and assessment of operational risks and their potential impact. Operational risk exposures are monitored by appropriate key risk indicators for tracking and escalation to management for providing early warning signals of increased operational risk or a breakdown in operational risk management. Regular operational risk management reports are received and consolidated from various parties and reported to the Operational Risk Management Committee for the monitoring and control of operational risk.


Capital Management


Capital of the Group for regulatory and risk management purposes includes share capital, reserves, retained profits and regulatory reserve. Accounts Department is responsible for monitoring the amount of the capital base and capital adequacy ratios against trigger limits and for risk exposures and ensuring compliance with relevant statutory limits, taking into account business growth, dividend payouts and other relevant factors.


The Group’s policy is to maintain a strong capital base to support the development of the Group’s businesses and to meet the statutory capital adequacy ratios and other regulatory capital requirements. Capital is allocated to various business activities of the Group depending on the risks taken by each business division and in accordance with the requirements of relevant regulatory bodies, taking into account current and future activities within a time frame of 3 years.