HSBC Customer Concerns Over Russia Ties

As many as 42% of HSBC customers may be considering switching to another bank, over the firm’s ties

March 14, 2022
HSBC Customer Concerns Over Russia Ties
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As many as 42% of HSBC customers may be considering switching to another bank, over the firm’s ties to Russian oil and gas and the continued backing of China’s national security law.

In a survey conducted by 38 Degrees and Savanta ComRes and first reported on by City AM, customers are calling for HSBC to sever ties with its investments in Russian’s resource businesses after the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The research also found that over 1,700 customers have gone further by writing to the bank directly, urging it to stop investing in Russian oil and gas completely.

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Damaging A Reputation

HSBC has been going through a controversial couple of years even before the war in Ukraine began. It has publicly backed the national security law in China which has seen many freedoms of citizens both in China and in Hong Kong taken away. The bank was originally founded in the then-British colony of Hong Kong in 1865, incorporated as the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation – HSBC.

China is a long-time ally of Russia and so it isn’t surprising to many that the bank continues to hold its investments in Russian oil and gas despite growing pressure from governments and customers.

However, the bank is putting its reputation at risk. Not only have 42% of current customers polled said that they are considering switching to a different bank, more than 60% of adults polled who bank with other lenders have said that HSBC should pull its investments in Gazprom, Rosneft, Tatneft, Lukoil and Novatek.

And more than 44% of adults with other banks have said that they are now less likely to consider HSBC as a switching option in future unless it does end its Russian investments. 67,000 people have now signed an open letter to the bank urging it to reconsider its ties with these companies.

MPs Rally Call

UK MPs have now started urging HSBC among other international banks to start shutting down offices in Moscow. Alongside HSBC, some of the other largest lenders in the City including Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank have offices in the Russian capital, employing thousands of workers.

Banks have already ended services to many Russian businesses and oligarchs in the wake of government sanctions, but MPs are now calling on the moral duty of banks to exit the country completely to put further pressure on the Russian economy in a bid to end the war in Ukraine.

These banks will start to come under further pressure now that major oil companies Shell and BP have started their own withdrawals from Russia, exiting any joint ventures they are involved in with Russian companies and offloading their investments in state energy firms.

There are recognised concerns that banks have an obligation to Russian customers who may not support the actions of their government, plus banks need to find others to take on customer lending if they do withdraw, but there will be continued calls for the banks to show meaningful action as long as the war continues.

Ian Lewis
Ian Lewis
Ian is an experienced writer with 15 years’ experience working in journalism and marketing. He’s worked in-house in financial institutions as well as writing freelance pieces for a variety of banking and financial trading websites.

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Mentioned Banks

About HSBC Bank HSBC is a British banking and financial services company. It is the largest bank in Europe and the seventh largest bank in the world. The bank originated in Hong Kong...
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About Credit Suisse Credit Suisse is a Swiss multinational investment bank and financial services company. Founded in 1856, it is the second largest bank in Switzerland and is headquartered...
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About JP Morgan JP Morgan Chase and Company is an American multinational investment bank and financial services company. It is the largest bank in the United States and the sixth largest...
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