01.06.20 - After HSBC was accused of working with mainland China to put an end to the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, the bank’s headquarters in the city experienced defacement to a pair of bronze lions outside of the building as multiple branches throughout the city were attacked. HSBC had largely been able to avoid vandalism until these accusations, and escaped the vandalism directed at locations owned by the Bank of China. Simultaneously, the London Stock Exchange has faced threats from Beijing as a lash out towards Britain’s stance on the protests.
As Britain readies to leave the European Union, Westminster has looked to build closer economic bonds with countries such as the United States and China, and the financial services sector is a predominant element of the British economy, contributing to 13% of all experts and providing over one million jobs to the country. For over four years the Shanghai and London exchanges have partnered to allow companies from each country to sell shares in their respective markets as an attempt to gain access to a much larger supply of foreign investors. HSBC, on the other hand, was targeted after closing an account held by a nonprofit organization assisting the protestors raise funds, but HSBC has insisted that the account closure was entirely unrelated to the pro-democracy protests throughout the city. But as protests throughout the city continue and the situation continues to escalate, HSBC needs to do a much better job explaining their actions to the general public, or risk permanent public relations damage throughout the city.