Feb 11, 2020

HK banks offer relief to customers hit by coronavirus

Hong Kong banks including Standard Chartered and HSBC are offering billions of dollars in relief measures to borrowers as the coronavirus outbreak threatens to deal a further blow to an economy that is already in recession. HSBC's Hong Kong chief executive Diana Cesar said the circumstances were "Unprecedented" and the bank would introduce further measures for personal customers. A Moody's analyst, said Hong Kong banks were among the healthiest in the world in terms of capital ratios but the poor economic conditions could hurt profitability, especially in unsecured consumer lending, such as credit cards. Fitch Ratings said bank earnings would be weakened in the near term, but noted that Hong Kong banks' financial position was strong. Fitch also said Hong Kong and Macau banks were better insulated from property price declines than during 2003, when the city was hit by the Sars virus outbreak.

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