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Methodist Church expresses concern at HSBC's support for Chinese security laws in Hong Kong

by Ruth Sax

The Methodist Church of Great Britain has urged HSBC to reconsider its support of new security laws introduced by the Chinese Government in Hong Kong.

The letter, signed by both the Director of Finance and Resources and the CEO of the Central Finance Board at the Methodist Church, expresses "grave disappointment" at the bank's "continued support for the new security laws". Matt Tattersall and David Palmer point to the signing of a petition in support of the laws by HSBC's Asia Pacific Chief and a social media post by HSBC stating that it: "respects and supports all laws that stabilise Hong Kong's social order" as evidence of the bank's position. 

David Palmer from the Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church told Premier News: "After decades of neutrality they (HSBC) came out in support of the Chinese Government and we need to tell them we don't agree with them for doing that."

The Methodist Church is a long-standing client of HSBC PLC (previously the Midland Bank) with the CFB and funds managed by its subsidiary, Epworth Investment Management Ltd, customers and shareholders in HSBC PLC.

The letter goes on to say: "These laws are contrary to the 1997 handover agreement with the United Kingdom, a threat to democracy, and interfere with human rights of Hong Kong citizens. Your support of them is of deep concern to the Methodist Church and we urge you to reconsider your support of them as a matter of urgency."

China passed wide-ranging security laws at the end of June that critics say will make it easier to punish protestors and diminish Hong Kong's freedoms.


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