Hong Kong Monetary Authority - Hong Kong Productivity Council: Survey on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)' Credit Conditions


In light of the importance of SMEs to the Hong Kong economy and concerns about potential funding difficulties facing SMEs over the past few years, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has appointed the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) to carry out this Survey, starting from the third quarter of 2016. The results of this Survey can help monitor the development of SMEs' access to bank credit from the demand-side perspective.

Data are collected from around 2,500 SMEs using publicly available SME directories and HKSAR Census database. The sample is stratified by the Hong Kong Standard Industrial Classification (HSIC) version 2.0, and based on the number of SME establishments in Hong Kong.

Latest Statistics
(Updated 25 July 2019)

Comparison of perceived banks' credit approval stance relative to 6 months ago(1)
2019 Q1
More difficult Similar Easier
19% 59% 22%
2019 Q2
More difficult Similar Easier
19% 63% 19%


Change in banks' stance on existing credit lines(1)
2019 Q1
Tighter No change Easier
10% 83% 7%
2019 Q2
Tighter No change Easier
7% 84% 9%


Results of new bank credit applications(1)
2019 Q1
Unsuccessful Partially successful Successful
3% 41% 55%
2019 Q2
Unsuccessful Partially successful Successful
13% 26% 61%

(1) Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Press Release

The survey is conducted quarterly starting from 2016Q3, with the results being announced after the completion of 2017 surveys.

QuarterRelease dateLink
Second Quarter 2019 Survey 25 July 2019 View
First Quarter 2019 Survey 6 May 2019 View
Fourth Quarter 2018 Survey 19 February 2019 View
Third Quarter 2018 Survey 7 November 2018 View
Second Quarter 2018 Survey 26 July 2018 View
First Quarter 2018 Survey 16 May 2018 View
Fourth Quarter 2017 Survey
7 February 2018 View


Tables & Charts

1. Comparison of perceived banks' credit approval stance relative to 6 months ago 2016Q3-2019Q2

Comparison of perceived banks' credit approval stance relative to 6 months ago 2016Q3-2019Q2

2. Change in banks' stance on existing credit lines 2016Q3-2019Q2

Change in banks' stance on existing credit lines 2016Q3-2019Q2

3. Results of new bank credit applications 2016Q3-2019Q2

Results of new bank credit applications 2016Q3-2019Q2

Concepts and methodology

The survey gathers views on access to bank credit from the senior management of around 2,500 SMEs in ten major sectors in Hong Kong, including manufacturing, import/export trade and wholesale, retail trade, accommodation and food services, transportation, storage, postal and courier services, information and communications, finance and insurance, real estate, professional services and scientific activities, social & personal services and others sectors.

The samples were post-stratified by sector into 10 strata as specified above. Quota control was imposed such that the number of samples in each stratum will be proportional to the number of establishments in the population. Adjustments will be made to ensure that there are no less than 80 samples in each stratum.

To classify SMEs, the definition stated in Support and Consultation Centre for SMEs, Trade and Industry Department, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was adopted. Manufacturing establishments with fewer than 100 employees; and non-manufacturing establishments with fewer than 50 employees, are regarded as SMEs in Hong Kong.

Banks, deposit taking companies and other money lending companies were outside the scope of this survey.

The survey solicits views from respondents regarding SMEs' Perception on Banks' Credit Approval Stance relative to 6 months ago, views of SMEs on Banks' Stance on Existing Credit Lines and Results of New Bank Credit Applications. Views collected refer only to those of respondents on their own establishments rather than those on the respective sectors they are engaged in; and are limited to the expected direction of periodic changes (e.g. "easier", "similar" or "more difficult") but not the magnitude of changes.

In compiling the survey results, the percentages are first computed to arrive at sector estimates. These sectoral information are then weighted and summed up to give the overall estimates.

It has to be noted that the views collected in the survey are affected by changes in sentiment due to idiosyncratic events occurring during the time of conducting the Survey, and it is difficult to establish precisely the extent to which respondents' perception accords with the underlying trend. Readers are advised to interpret the results together with other economic and financial information.

Furthermore, owing to a small sample size for respondents reporting that they had applied for new bank credit, Results of New Bank Credit Applications could be prone to large fluctuations. Care should be taken when interpreting survey results.


The content and data in this report is owned by Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). Without the authorization of HKMA, any changes to the report content and data, as well as selling of the report, are not permitted. HKMA and Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) shall not have any liability, duty or obligation for or relating to the content and data contained herein, any errors, inaccuracies, omissions or delays in the content and data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. In no event shall HKMA or HKPC be liable for any special, incidental or consequential damages, arising out of the use of the content and data.


For more details about the Survey, please contact Ms. Emily Cheung at tel. (852) 2788 5872 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..