Hong Kong banks escaped exposure to collapsed United States energy giant Enron, according to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Deputy chief executive David Carse said the authority yesterday questioned banks about their exposure to Enron, which has filed for bankruptcy with US$16.8 billion in debts. The company's troubles have led to heavy selling of bank stocks in the past two days. Mr Carse said none of the Hong Kong-incorporated banks or the Hong Kong branches of international banking groups had made loans to Enron. 'We are not aware of any of the local banks having exposure to Enron. I do not see there would be any significant impact of the incident on the Hong Kong banking sector,' he said. It was inevitable the number of corporate failures would increase amid the global economic downturn. But Enron was a special case, since its collapse was related more to internal problems than to external factors. In Hong Kong, the sector causing most concern was credit-card lending. Mr Carse believed bad credit-card loans would return to their Asian-crisis level due to the economic slowdown. However, total credit-card lending in Hong Kong was only HK$53 billion, representing less than 3 per cent of all lending. As a result, the deteriorating asset quality of credit-card loans would not have a significant impact on the local banking sector, he said. Mr Carse urged banks to consider making loans to the film industry after attending a seminar on film financing yesterday. Hong Kong banks seldom offered loans for film production as the risks were high, he noted. 'Obviously, there are not many movies which will be box office hits like Harry Potter,' he said. However, since so many films were produced in Hong Kong, film financing represented a potential new business for local banks. Hong Kong was an important film production centre and lenders' support would help it grow further. However, the industry had to increase its transparency if it wanted to secure loans.