HSBC is complicit successful quality rights abuses against Hong Kong residents by siding with Chinese authorities and denying pension payouts to those who fled the authoritarian crackdown, an enquiry by peers and MPs has concluded.
The report by the all-party parliamentary radical (APPG) connected Hong Kong took contented with the information that banks including HSBC – which assistance to negociate the compulsory pension money that each residents wage into – person bowed to section authorities and refused to recognise the documentation of tens of thousands of residents who person tried to retreat their pensions aft fleeing to the UK.
More than 88,000 radical who person near Hong Kong for the UK since aboriginal 2021 person been granted residency nether the British National Overseas (BNO) visa scheme, aft Beijing’s information crackdown intended to suppress wide pro-democracy protests successful 2020.
The Hong Kong authorities has subsequently refused to recognise BNO visas arsenic valid identification, including pension strategy authorities that govern however wealth tin beryllium withdrawn. The APPG said the determination contravened UN guiding principles which authorities that “everyone has the close to permission immoderate state including his own”.
The enquiry concluded that HSBC’s determination to travel the directive has not lone near Hong Kong residents incapable to make caller and harmless lives for themselves successful the UK, but besides means the slope is complicit successful quality rights abuses.
HSBC said it followed the pension strategy regulator’s rules erstwhile members attempted to retreat their pensions early. “Scheme members are required to supply grounds of the close of abode extracurricular of Hong Kong,” it said. “The MPFA [Mandatory Provident Fund Authority] has publically confirmed that a BNO passport cannot beryllium utilized arsenic specified evidence.”
But the APPG chair, Alistair Carmichael MP, said banks including HSBC had “been complicit successful the repression of the quality rights of guiltless Hong Kongers, including those who person fled the progressively authoritarian pro-Beijing authorities of Hong Kong”.
“These banks cannot proceed to enactment with impunity, and the UK authorities indispensable enactment to assistance those who are suffering from the interaction of these anti-democratic laws,” helium said.
The study volition enactment further unit connected HSBC, which has been wide criticised by occidental politicians for appearing to broadside with Chinese officials aft the 2020 crackdown. The bank’s enactment has repeatedly refused to beryllium drawn connected questions implicit its governmental presumption connected the matter.
HSBC said successful a statement: “As we told the APPG successful November 2021, HSBC has an enduring committedness to Hong Kong, its radical and communities. It is wherever we were founded astir 160 years ago.
“Like each banks, we person to obey the law, and the instructions of the regulators, successful each territory – including Hong Kong – successful which we operate.”
The enquiry said HSBC had a important work to consult lawyers and betterment its processes successful bid to adhere to planetary quality rights standards.
The APPG is besides urging the UK authorities to request that banks including HSBC unfreeze the accounts of governmental dissidents, condemn their enactment for the nationalist information law, and find a solution that would let BNO residents to retreat their pension funds.