HSBC ‘finally’ backs national security legislation for HK
Published: Jun 03, 2020 07:58 PM

People pass by a HSBC bank in Hong Kong. Photo: IC

HSBC came out to clarify its stance on Hong Kong's security law on Wednesday. A Chinese expert said the bank's move should have come earlier, but can also be seen as a move "never too late" if the bank could follow its statement to the heart.

Peter Wong, deputy chairman and chief executive of HSBC, signed a petition to support the new legislation by China's National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top lawmaking body.

According to a statement HSBC sent to the Global Times on Wednesday, the bank said: "We respect and support laws and regulations that will enable Hong Kong to recover and rebuild the economy and, at the same time, maintain the principle of 'one country, two systems.'" 

"We are fully committed to playing our part in supporting Hong Kong now and in the future." 

The move on Wednesday comes as HSBC, a leading lender in Hong Kong, is under pressure to clarify its stance on the new legislation. 

One of the loudest criticism was from former Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who wrote on Facebook on May 29 that HSBC should not damage China's sovereignty and dignity, and hurt Chinese people's feelings, while making money in the country.

Song Guoyou, director of Fudan University's Center for Economic Diplomacy, said the bank's statement "should have come earlier" as the bigger trend and public opinion in Hong Kong has been demonstrated in support of the new legislation. 

"However, if HSBC can show its sincerity and honor its statement with concrete actions in the future, we can describe Wong's signature as never too late," Song told the Global Times. 

"It would be the bank's actions in the days to come that matters," Song said.