Hong Kong opposition MPs protest HSBC account closures 2023

The League of Social Democrats opposition politicians in Hong Kong conducted a rally in front of HSBC Holdings to protest the bank’s decision to terminate the party’s accounts.

Five activists congregated in front of one of the lion statues that protect the HSBC headquarters in the city’s central business district.

They spoke in front of a throng of reporters and held up banners claiming that the bank cared only about profit and was aiding the dictator.

“Unfortunately, all three accounts at HSBC are our only accounts in Hong Kong,” said Dickson Chau, external vice-chairman of the League of Social Democrats.

“We can no longer accept digital donations or make digital payments. Everything must now be paid for in cash only.”

The bank did not provide a reason for closing the accounts, but the money could be withdrawn.

The action was part of a routine review of account activities and compliance requirements.

“Based on these reviews, HSBC may determine that we can no longer maintain banking relationships with certain clients,” a spokesperson said.

Hong Kong’s largest bank, HSBC, has had to walk a tightrope following China’s crackdown on civil liberties in the wake of 2019’s enormous pro-democracy protests that rocked the financial metropolis.

In 2020, activists criticized the lender for suspending the accounts of a former pro-democracy lawmaker and a church that assisted demonstrators. In addition, some of its branches were assaulted after the bank closed a pro-democracy account.

British and American legislators criticized HSBC after Peter Wong, the bank’s Asia-Pacific chief executive, signed a petition in support of the China-drafted national security law.

On Sunday, the 34th anniversary of the assault on demonstrators in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, police in Hong Kong detained over twenty individuals in an effort to prevent any public commemoration of the tragic event.

Ms. Chan Po-ying, president of the League of Social Democrats, was detained. Several fundamental party members, including her spouse, veteran activist Leung “Long Hair” Kwok-hung, were imprisoned or awaiting trial when she took office in 2021.

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