The former Hong Kong lawmaker rejects HSBC’s explanation for the frozen accounts

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Former Hong Kong MP Ted Hui renewed his criticism of HSBC for freezing its local bank accounts even after global bank chief executive Noel Quinn wrote to him to explain the circumstances of the change.

Hui, who fled Hong Kong late last year after facing criminal charges over pro-democracy protests in Asia’s financial center, revealed some of the content of Quinn’s message in a Facebook post Sunday.

“Has HSBC followed professional screening, application, identification and evaluation procedures?” Hui asked Facebook, regarding the actions he expected from the bank prior to the freezing of accounts.

“I hold HSBC openly responsible for answering these important questions.”

In Quinn’s letter sent last week, she had tried to explain why HSBC was unable to handle bank and credit card accounts and claimed that the bank was legally obligated to act upon notification. from local authorities, wrote Hui.

In December, the former MP said the accounts held by him and his family appeared to have been frozen after he said he would seek exile in Britain to continue his pro-democratic activities.

In his Facebook post, Hui asked HSBC to explain why his family members were also “collectively punished”.

Hui and HSBC did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.

Authorities in the former British colony have launched a massive crackdown on the pro-democracy opposition since Beijing imposed a controversial national security law in June.

In August last year, Reuters reported that global banks were examining whether Hong Kong customers had links to the democracy movement, in an effort to avoid getting involved in security laws.

Reporting by Jessie Pang and Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Clarence Fernandez