As the Hong Kong protests enters their seventh month, two major UK financial institutions are getting caught in the fallout: HSBC and the London stock exchange.
HSBC has been facing allegations from protestors accusing the bank of collaborating with China by cutting off funding for protestors after it closed the account held by Spark Alliance, a non-profit group that raised money to fund the protests, CNN reported.
The accusations led to the bank being attacked by protestors what painted a pair of bronze lions outside HSBC’s Hong Kong headquarters.
Whilst condemning the attacks, HSBC denied it was working together with the protestors. The bank said that the closure of the account was totally unrelated to the protests and had more to do with conforming to international anti-money laundering regulations.
It added that it would restore its ATM and other services as soon as possible.
The London Stock Exchange has also been caught in the fallout from the protests. Beijing, reportedly angry with the UK’s stance on the protests, has moved to suspend a partnership between the London and the Shanghai stock exchange due to the political tension.
The Hong Kong protests first began in June 2019 after the Hong Kong government introduced the Fugitive Offenders Amendment bill. If enacted, it would have enabled Hong Kong to extradite wanted alleged criminals to China.
The introduction of the bill raised fear that mainland China was moving to bring Hong Kong more under its rule. The people who then took to the streets were afraid this would mean Hong Kong would lose its autonomy.
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