Jan 2, 2020

HSBC forced to close Hong Kong branches

HSBC was forced to close branches and suspend some ATMs in Hong Kong on Thursday after the closure of an account used to raise funds for demonstrators led to the territory's biggest bank being targeted for the first time. Ten of its branches were shut after undercover police carried out violent arrests of protesters who had turned their ire on HSBC following accusations it helped the police close an account held by Spark Alliance fund, a crowdsourcing operation. HSBC has said the decision to close the account in November was for compliance reasons and came before the police intervention. "HSBC is the bank of Hong Kong people . . . Now you betray Hong Kongers for the most terrifying communist party in the world," said Teresa Lam, a 63-year-old administrator for a US private equity fund who dropped HK$500 into a fundraising box for the Spark Alliance on Wednesday. "For the last couple of years the contribution from Hong Kong is more than elsewhere within the group but if the trade war gradually settles I think HSBC will have enough strength to cover their business within greater China as well as regional markets," said Mr Tse Ming-kwong.

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