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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.

The survey collected data from around 2,500 SMEs, based on publicly available SME directories and a database from HKSAR Census and Statistics Department. 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 6 May 2024)

Comparison of perceived banks' credit approval stance relative to 6 months ago(1)(2)
2023 Q4
More difficult Similar Easier
31% 65% 4%
2024 Q1
More difficult Similar Easier
29% 68% 3%


Change in banks' stance on existing credit lines(1)(3)
2023 Q4
Tighter No change Easier
24% 75% 1%
2024 Q1
Tighter No change Easier
12% 88% 0%


Results of new bank credit applications(1)(4)
2023 Q4
Unsuccessful Partially successful Successful
20% 4% 76%
2024 Q1
Unsuccessful Partially successful Successful
14% 4% 82%

(1) Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
(2) Excluding respondents who answered “no idea / don’t know”.
(3) Covering only respondents with existing credit lines.
(4) Covering only respondents who had already known their new bank credit application outcomes.

Press Release

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

Quarter Release date Link
First Quarter 2024 Survey 6 May 2024 View
Fourth Quarter 2023 Survey 5 February 2024 View
Third Quarter 2023 Survey 17 November 2023 View
Second Quarter 2023 Survey 1 August 2023 View
First Quarter 2023 Survey 8 May 2023 View
Fourth Quarter 2022 Survey 6 February 2023 View
Third Quarter 2022 Survey 30 November 2022 View
Second Quarter 2022 Survey 1 August 2022 View
First Quarter 2022 Survey 3 May 2022 View
Fourth Quarter 2021 Survey 7 February 2022 View
Third Quarter 2021 Survey 2 November 2021 View
Second Quarter 2021 Survey 29 July 2021 View
First Quarter 2021 Survey 3 May 2021 View
Fourth Quarter 2020 Survey 1 February 2021 View
Third Quarter 2020 Survey 2 November 2020 View
Second Quarter 2020 Survey 29 July 2020 View
First Quarter 2020 Survey 4 May 2020 View
Fourth Quarter 2019 Survey 2 March 2020 View
Third Quarter 2019 Survey 4 November 2019 View
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 2016Q3-2024Q1

Comparison of perceived banks' credit approval stance relative to 6 months ago 2016Q3-2024Q1

2. Change in banks' stance on existing credit lines 2016Q3-2024Q1

Change in banks' stance on existing credit lines 2016Q3-2024Q1

3. Results of new bank credit applications 2016Q3-2024Q1

Results of new bank credit applications 2016Q3-2024Q1

Concepts and methodology

The survey gathers views on access to bank credit from the senior management of around 2,500 SMEs from different 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 stratified by sector. Quota control was imposed such that the number of samples in each stratum is proportional to the number of establishments in the population. Adjustments were made to ensure that there were no less than 80 samples in each stratum.

To classify SMEs, the definition stated in Support and Consultation Centre for SMEs, HKSAR Trade and Industry Department 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 respondents’ views on their own establishments rather than views on respective sectors they are engaged in; and are limited to the expected direction of inter-quarter changes (e.g. “tighter”, “no change” or “easier”) without providing information about the magnitude of these changes.

It has to be noted that the views collected in the survey are affected by changes in sentiment due to idiosyncratic events that occurred over the survey period, which can make the results prone to fluctuations. Readers are advised to interpret the results together with other economic and financial information.

Furthermore, owing to small sample sizes of SMEs with existing credit lines and with new credit applications during the quarter, the results could be prone to large fluctuations, and hence should be interpreted with care.


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 HKPC at tel. (852) 2788 5306.