Monday 22 March 2021 12:59 pm

MPs call for insurers Legal & General and Aviva to cut ties with HSBC over its Hong Kong stance

A group of British parliamentarians have called for major British insurers Aviva and Legal & General to cut ties with HSBC over its support of Beijing’s democracy crackdown in Hong Kong.

The group of 10 MPs and peers wrote to the pair of insurers to say that “investment in HSBC is in direct conflict with your own ethical guidelines and the UK government’s position” on Hong Kong’s draconian national security legislation.

Beijing’s imposition of National Security Laws last year were criticised by governments around the globe, including the UK’s, for breaching international law.

The legislation made criticism of the Chinese government illegal in Hong Kong, with police also given powers to lock up people for things like making fun of the Chinese national anthem.

Senior officials from British-based HSBC and Standard Chartered, which rely largely from revenues coming from Hong Kong, stood by the draconian legislation.

HSBC has also been criticised for freezing assets of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong under order of local police.

Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh, vice chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hong Kong, said: “We would encourage any organisation that has business ties with HSBC and Standard Chartered to reconsider that relationship, and think about the message it sends to their own customers. 

“The Chinese Communist Party has totally disregarded the international rule of law and human rights principles through its actions in Hong Kong. Any organisation which would still rather support such atrocities than stand up for what’s right, is supporting a threat to freedom and democracy everywhere.”

HSBC was contacted for comment.