UK MPs: HSBC Complicit in Violating Rights of Hong Kong Expats

Image copyright: Bloomberg [via Telegraph]

The Facts

  • A probe by UK peers and MPs has concluded that HSBC is complicit in allleged human rights abuses by complying with China's directive to prevent overseas citizens of Hong Kong from withdrawing pension contributions from the city's Mandatory Provident Fund.

  • Wednesday's report accused HSBC of being motivated by a desire to protect profits and remain in favor with China's government when it imposed the measures on Hong Kongers who had traveled to Britain following Beijing's alleged anti-democracy crackdown.

The Spin

Pro-China narrative

Despite a consistent sour grape mentality among some Western media and observers, Hong Kong has managed to attract endorsement from global financial leaders, including representatives of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Blackstone. Investment from the industry has shown clear confidence in the "one country, two systems" governance of Hong Kong. Any deviation from laws in Hong Kong, such as NSL, would undermine the success of this global financial hub.

Anti-China narrative

As businesses worldwide rapidly shift to put ethics and sustainability at the heart of corporate processes, HSBC needs to reassess its own principles. Despite global condemnation of Beijing's brutal crackdown, HSBC defended its draconian legislation on the world stage, putting domestic law in Hong Kong above global international human rights law, begging the question of whether it values profit over the defense of democracy and human rights.

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