HSBC has denied those allegations and condemned what it described as repeated “acts of vandalism” against its branches. It said in a statement on Thursday that it was working to restore ATM and other banking services that had been suspended as a result of the attacks.
Neither the exchanges, nor Chinese financial regulators, responded to requests for comment. The Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates UK financial markets, declined to comment.
The link between the London and Shanghai exchanges was first announced in 2015. It allows UK-listed companies to sell shares in China and permits Chinese companies to raise money on the UK market, giving them access to a bigger pool of international investors.
But Britain’s biggest bank has been targeted in recent weeks after it closed an account in November held by the Spark Alliance, a nonprofit group in Hong Kong raising funds for the protests.
HSBC said that the closure of the account was “completely unrelated” to the arrests or the situation in Hong Kong, and was carried out in keeping with global regulations that require banks to conduct regular “due diligence” reviews on customer accounts.
“As the account has not been used for its stated purpose, we closed the account in November 2019 following fund transfer instruction from the customer,” it said in a statement on December 25.
HSBC, which was established in Hong Kong in 1865, derived half of its pretax profits from business in Asia’s premier financial hub in the first nine months of last year.
— Charles Riley, Yong Xiong, and Steven Jiang contributed to the report.