Bank of England says Hong Kong unrest led to $6.7 billion exodus from funds

The Bank of England is particularly concerned by events in Hong Kong because of the outsized exposure of British banks.
The Bank of England is particularly concerned by events in Hong Kong because of the outsized exposure of British banks.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) - About US$5 billion (S$6.77 billion) has been pulled from investment funds in Hong Kong amid escalating political protests in the Chinese territory, according to the Bank of England.

That's equivalent to about 1.25% of the former British colony's gross domestic product, the UK central bank said in its semiannual Financial Stability Report on Monday (Dec 16), citing its own calculations and data from Refinitiv and EPFR Global.

HSBC Holdings and Standard Chartered, among the biggest foreign-based lenders in Hong Kong, have said that they have seen wealthy customers in the territory opening overseas bank accounts as fears have grown since anti-government protests began in April.

The Bank of England is particularly concerned by events in Hong Kong because of the outsized exposure of British banks.

UK lenders' current combined exposure to the territory totals about 160% of their common equity Tier 1 capital, the BOE said.