HSBC, Jardine, StanChart all bow to security law

Top News | Jane Cheung 5 Jun 2020

Standard Chartered Bank has followed the lead of HSBC in supporting the national security law.

British-based institutions HSBC and Jardine Matheson Group expressed support after former chief executive Leung Chun-ying - a vice chairman at the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference - criticized HSBC for not making its stance clear on the legislation imposed by Beijing on the SAR.

A StanChart spokesman said in an e-mail yesterday: "We hope the law comes with clear details and it will make Hong Kong stable in terms of the economy and society."

HSBC on Wednesday posted on WeChat a photo of the group's deputy chairman and chief executive, Peter Wong Tung-shun, who is also a member of the CPPCC, signing a petition supporting the new law.

Another photo showed Wong's signature - his name in simplified Chinese - on the petition.

In an interview with state-run Xinhua News Agency, Wong said the Hong Kong business sector regards the national security law as something "in the right direction."

He believes the law will boost investors' confidence in Hong Kong and that HSBC supports any law under the one country, two systems principle that would help stabilize social order and boost the economy.

Wong, also speaking as the new chairman of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, said the business sector is against foreign country's sanctions on the SAR, as all types of embargoes would make the already-difficult business environment worse.

"Not only will sanctions hurt Hong Kong, but it will also hurt the United States itself and the whole Asia-Pacific region," he said.

The came after Leung slammed HSBC on Friday for not specifying its stance and called for businessmen in the mainland and in Hong Kong to close their HSBC accounts.

On Tuesday, Beijing Daily posted an article entitled "HSBC will eventually lose all its customers" on its WeChat, in which it listed the "two-faced" bank's controversial events in recent years. It questioned the bank's intention in "putting a blind eye" on the law to safeguard Hong Kong's national security.

Jardine Matheson offered support by running full-page advertisements only in pro-Beijing Chinese newspapers Ta Kung Pao and Wen Wei Po on Wednesday.

"Rule of law and the one country, two systems principle listed in the Basic Law are the foundation for continuous stability and prosperity for Hong Kong," the ad said.

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