HSBC to shut down Hong Kong ATMs after protest vandalism
HSBC has announced that it will be suspending services at 19 ATM locations in Hong Kong after two of its branches were targeted by anti-government protesters.
Protestors damaged windows at the branches, and forced the closure of seven ATM clusters on 2 January.
Stephen and Stitt, the pair of bronze lion statues which sit outside the bank’s Hong Kong headquarters, were sprayed with graffiti and set on fire. The lions are featured prominently on local bank notes issued by HSBC.
Now the bank will close 19 ATM clusters in areas of the city it expects protest hot spots to occur. The ATMs will be closed from 8pm to 6am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until further notice.
Hong Kong is the bank’s largest market, comprising more than half of HSBC’s $12.5 billion pre-tax profits for the first half of 2019.
HSBC drew the ire of protestors after it closed an account linked to a Hong Kong pro-democracy movement in November 2019. The bank maintains it did so at the “direct instruction” of the customer.