Following the news that HSBC, Standard Chartered and Bank of East Asia may face potential consumer backlash in Hong Kong after the companies spoke out against the recent violent protests in the country;
Katherine Long, Banking Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:
“It is not surprising that Hong Kong customers perceived the banks’ responses as them siding with the Beijing Government, and this misjudgement of consumer sentiment couldn’t come at a worse possible time.
“The country recently granted eight digital banking licences to new challenging firms that are ready to disrupt incumbent banks’ market share. GlobalData’s 2019 Banking and Payments Survey found that HSBC, Standard Chartered and Bank of East Asia account for a combined market share of 45% of the main bank accounts in Hong Kong. These three major banks are now at risk of losing irate customers to the new challengers.
“Banks may draw upon bland responses to crises as a way to navigate their way through tense political times. But with their efforts backfiring, the three banks in question should be wary of consumer desertion. The protesters, having recently surpassed one million, are intent on causing short-term disruption in pursuit of the freedoms they believe will ensure Hong Kong’s long-term economic prosperity. Banks that get in the way of that goal will inevitably face their wrath.”