Jun 3, 2020

HSBC publicly supports China’s national security law for Hong Kong

HSBC has openly supported the national security law China is imposing on Hong Kong, breaking the bank's silence on the legislation opposed by the UK government. HSBC's move is likely to be contentious with both politicians in the UK, where the bank is based, and parts of its Hong Kong customer base, who see the proposed legislation as potentially overriding the Hong Kong justice system and as a threat to the "One country, two systems" framework. Last week China bypassed the city's legislature to approve a plan to impose national security laws on Hong Kong. The UK has opposed the new laws, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday reinforced the stance by stating that if the laws came into effect, Hong Kongers with British Nationals passports would have greater access to visas to live and work in the UK. HSBC - which was founded in Hong Kong in 1865, but moved its headquarters to London after taking full control of Midland bank in 1993 - has been squeezed on all sides in Hong Kong over the past year, where it makes the vast majority of its profits. In a statement to local media last week, Swire said the enactment of national security legislation "Will be beneficial for the long-term future of Hong Kong as a world-leading business and financial centre".

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