Singapore’s primary Chinese language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao recently reported that large Chinese state-owned banks operating in Hong Kong have taken actions to comply to the latest U.S. sanctions of the top Hong Kong government officials, including the top Mainland official dispatched to Hong Kong to oversee the implementation of the new Hong Kong National Security Law. Those large Chinese banks which conduct a good amount of U.S. business stayed very conservative on allowing the opening of accounts by those who were sanctioned, including even the city’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam – at least one bank completely stopped such service. Foreign banks in Hong Kong also tightened up reviews on their customers’ accounts. Experts expressed the belief that these cautions were taken to safeguard the channels to obtain U.S. dollars and the banks’ international network. According to data that Bloomberg released, by the end of 2019, the four largest Chinese state-owned banks had a total U.S. dollar-based financing volume of $1.1 trillion. The banks and the Hong Kong government declined to comment on this matter.
Source: Lianhe Zaobao, August 14, 2020