UPDATE 1-Hong Kong banking regulator says enterprise as common, no fund outflows

(Provides Yuen estimates, context)

HONG KONG, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Hong Kong is not looking at fund outflows pursuing Beijing’s imposition of a national protection law in the Asian monetary hub, a major executive at the city’s banking regulator said on Thursday.

Arthur Yuen, deputy main govt of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), mentioned it was “pretty substantially company as usual” for banking institutions despite “the uncertainty”, and he experienced not read problems from buyers about the “landscape starting to be a lot more complicated”.

Overall deposits in Hong Kong rose 5.4{9e6a73ef7eb6fa22b1de79554ca535a2a0aaa70d898e937e26eb250763832f63} in 2020 compared to the earlier year, the regulator explained.

Beijing’s imposition of the regulation on the metropolis last year, in response to at times violent protests in 2019, lifted fears it would erode autonomy and freedoms in the former British colony.

Hong Kong is the regional home for a massive selection of international monetary firms, some of whom have been caught up in the subsequent fallout.

In response to the security regulation, the U.S. governing administration last yr barred American organizations and persons from accomplishing organization with Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam and other Hong Kong and Chinese officials, and prevented non-U.S. economic institutions from presenting products and services to Lam and many others.

Banks adopted the sanctions, and were being criticised for doing so by some professional-Beijing Hong Kong politicians.

Yuen explained on Thursday that though financial institutions in Hong Kong had no authorized obligation to observe U.S. sanctions, they ought to contemplate any risk aspects in their dealing with shoppers. He claimed he would respect banks’ choices.

Hong Kong police scrutinised the financial institution records of professional-democracy activists who have been arrested less than the stability regulation, some activists and a senior financial institution government advised Reuters very last thirty day period, and also ordered the freezing of previous Hong Kong lawmaker Ted Hui’s account

As a outcome banking institutions, notably the city’s premier HSBC, have arrive less than fireplace from politicians in the United States and Britain.

Yuen mentioned that account closures were not for political factors.

“Hong Kong banks need to comply with requests to assistance investigation by legislation enforcement companies financial institutions have to comply with laws no make a difference whether in Hong Kong or London.” (Reporting by Alun John Composing by Sumeet Chatterjee Enhancing by Kim Coghill and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)