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Friday, March 31, 2023

UK MPs Believe HSBC is Implicated in Violations of Hong Kong’s Human Rights

The APPG made the report on this Hong Kong issue

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Hrishita Chatterjee
Hrishita Chatterjee
Covering culture and trending topics

HONG KONG: UK MPs and peers believe HSBC is implicated in violations of Hong Kong’s human rights. The bank extended support to the Chinese authorities and disregarded pension pay-outs to those residents who escaped the authoritarian action, as reported through an inquiry initiated by UK peers and MPs.

The inquiry states that HSBC’s decision to follow the directive has made Hong Kong residents clueless, and they have been unable to create safe lives for themselves in the UK, creating grounds for human rights abuses.

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The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) made the report on this Hong Kong issue. The report claimed that banks, including HSBC manages the mandatory pension fund that all residents are required to pay into.

It also stated that the bank had refused to accept the documentation of tens of thousands of residents who had planned to move to the UK and had chosen to withdraw their pension.

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Since early 2021, approximately 88,000 people have shifted to the UK from Hong Kong. These people have been given residency under the BNO (British National Overseas) visa scheme following Beijing’s security crackdown, which tried to stifle aggressive pro-democracy protests in 2020.

BNO visas, according to the Hong Kong government, are not considered to be valid identification. The APPG had mentioned that the scheme breached the UN’s guiding principles, which state that “everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own.”

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Alistair Carmichael MP, APPG chair, said, “Including those who have fled the increasingly authoritarian pro-Beijing government of Hong Kong, they have been implicated in the persecution of the human rights of innocent Hong Kong citizens.”

“The UK government must act to help citizens who are impacted by this anti-democratic legislation because these banks cannot continue to behave with impunity,” he added.

This report will add pressure on HSBC, which has largely been criticised by politicians in the West for extending support to Chinese officials following the 2020 crackdown.

HSBC commented in a statement, “HSBC has an ongoing commitment to Hong Kong, its people, and its communities, as we stated to the APPG in November 2021. We were established there almost 160 years ago.”

“Like other banks, we must abide by the regulations and laws of any jurisdiction in which we conduct business, including Hong Kong,” the statement further read.

Also Read: China Responds to USA Over the “Spy Balloon” Case


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