Under-fire bank Standard Chartered reaffirms its Hong Kong commitment
◆ Standard Chartered has reiterated its commitment to Hong Kong after being heavily criticised for backing a security law in the city that hands sweeping powers to Beijing, writes Lucy Burton.
The London-listed bank, along with rival HSBC, has been condemned in recent weeks after it broke years of political neutrality by backing the law that criminalises anti-government protests in the former British colony.
It left the lenders vulnerable to accusations that they had bowed to pressure from Beijing and set them at odds with the UK Government, which has been strongly critical of the plans. Hong Kong is Standard Chartered’s largest market.
Chairman José Viñals addressed the unrest yesterday, arguing that “more collaboration – not less – is the best way to find a sustainable equilibrium in these complex situations, but we do not expect an easy or quick resolution”. His comments came as the bank announced a 25pc fall in profits to $2bn (£1.5bn) for the first-half.