Pedestrians walk past an HSBC bank branch in Hong Kong on May 4. HSBC said Tuesday it would cut its global headcount by up to 50,000 as part of a restructuring that entails its withdrawal from Brazil and Turkey. (Photo: CFP)
Chinese netizens have said that HSBC's move to close accounts that fund the ongoing Hong Kong riots is a means of cutting off funding channels for terror acts.
The bank is reportedly shutting accounts believed to be channeling funds to Hong Kong rioters, according to media reports.
"As part of our responsibility to know our customers and safeguard the financial industry, we regularly review our customers' accounts," the bank told the Global Times on Monday in an emailed statement.
"If we spot activity differing from the stated purpose of the account, or missing information, we will proactively review all activity, which can also result in account closure," read the statement.
Chinese mainland citizens noted the reported closure of accounts.
"These are the accounts that channel funds to terrorists," wrote one user named Jingzhouyiding.
External forces have been interfering with the development of the Hong Kong protests, which have grown increasingly violent and claimed the lives of innocent citizens.
Some hailed the action by the bank while others said that the bank is "too late," and they termed the bank's previous inaction a fence-sitting tactic.
The bank has become involved in the controversy for its role in the US crackdown on Chinese telecommunication giant Huawei and the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou.
Some netizens said the bank should be penalized for having allowed such accounts that fund terror acts to exist.