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HSBC, StanChart face pressure from Hong Kong to take on crypto clients – FT

by Staff GBAF Publications Ltd
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HSBC, StanChart face pressure from Hong Kong to take on crypto clients – FT

(Reuters) -HSBC and Standard Chartered are among lenders facing pressure from Hong Kong’s banking regulator to take on crypto exchanges as clients, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing three people with knowledge of the matter.

The UK-based lenders and the Bank of China were questioned by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) last month on why crypto exchanges were not being accepted as clients, according to the report.

Standard Chartered is in regular dialogue with regulators on different subjects, it said in an emailed statement to Reuters, declining to comment further on the FT report.

HSBC and the HKMA did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comments.

The HKMA, in a letter to lenders on April 27, said diligence on potential customers should not “create undue burden”, especially “for those setting up an office in Hong Kong,” the FT report said.

Hong Kong’s urge for banks to accept crypto clients comes at a time when countries such as the U.S. are doubling down on crypto exchanges, with the U.S. affiliate of Binance halting dollar deposits last week after the Securities and Exchange Commission asked a court to freeze its assets.

(Reporting by Rahat Sandhu in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Rishabh Jaiswal in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)