The fundamental human right to protest has resulted in mass movements that have overthrown governments and changed the course of financial developments. One such protest was the recent example in Hong Kong, where millions of people took to the streets to oppose the bill that allowed the government to send its citizens to China for extradition. Now, one bank has come to the fore for cutting off access to protest funds and rebel resources.
HSBC, one of the world’s largest banking conglomerates, recently revealed that they would be canceling all accounts related to crowdfunding campaigns. The organization has stated that the decision was made because of a fund that accepted donations and used it for other purposes. HSBC has given the party a 30-day notice period, which it has to comply with.
The Hong Kong Journal, one of the most popular newspapers in the region, revealed that they found funds were being used inconsistently with its original documents and paperwork. Vin Tran, one of the spokespeople for HSBC Hong Kong, stated:
“As part of our responsibility to know our customers and safeguard the financial industry, we regularly review our customers’ accounts,. If we spot activity differing from the stated purpose of the account, or missing information, we will proactively review all activity, which can also result in account closure.”
HSBC is one of many companies that has had to go through the financial tornado, with citizens hoping against hope that a solution would come soon. 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, an organization that helps protestors with their legal and medical expenses, has currently stated that their holding HDC account is still fully functional.
Hong Kong has been a financially positive state for HSBC as the bank drew a surplus of 35 percent revenue from the region in the first nine months of business commencement. Some members of the cryptocurrency community have stated the decision will affect hundreds of other activists and that centralization is a real hindrance to freedom of speech and expression. Rhythm, a famous cryptocurrency proponent tweeted:
“BREAKING: HSBC just shut down bank accounts for Hong Kong anti-extradition bill events, as reported by the Hong Kong Economic Journal. I.E. closing accounts for protesting demonstrations. Bitcoin fixes this. This is why Bitcoin was created, for making the transactions they say you can’t make.”
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