Exclusive: HSBC customers threaten to switch banks unless it cuts Russian oil ties
More than 1,700 HSBC customers have written to the bank urging it to cut its ties with Russian oil and gas businesses, research shared exclusively with City A.M. has revealed.
It comes amid lingering controversy over HSBC’s backing of China’s national security law as it was imposed in June 2020 and has stamped out many freedoms in the country and Hong Kong.
Many of the HSBC customers calling for action are also considering switching to another bank, campaign group 38 Degrees has found.
Two in five, or 42 per cent, of HSBC customers have mulled the switch, according to Savanta ComRes polling for the campaign group.
There is also a clear consensus among people who bank with other lenders. More than 60 per cent of UK adults polled have said that HSBC should divest in Russian oil.
Over 67,000 people have signed an open letter to the bank so far, calling on it to pull its investments in Russian oil giants Gazprom, Rosneft, Tatneft, Lukoil and Novatek.
With 44 per cent of people with other banks say they are less likely to bank with HSBC in the future – unless it ditches its Russian stakes.
Goldman Sachs yesterday became the first major Wall Street bank to exit Russia following its invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.
The London Stock Exchange last week blocked 27 Russia-linked firms, including Gazprom, Rosneft and Lukoil after investors rushed to cut ties with Russia.
Energy heavyweight’s BP and Equinor have already divested in Rosneft, as fund manager Abrdn also tries to offload its £5m stake in the state-backed oil company.
An HSBC spokesperson said: “In recent days, we have suspended our Russia-only funds and further reduced other funds’ exposure where this has been possible. As you’d expect HSBC are complying with all international sanctions.”