The countdown has begun on whether banks will be ensnared in the Trump administration’s sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials, singled out for contributing to a clampdown on political freedoms in the Asian hub, reported Bloomberg.
A US report to Congress on Wednesday named 10 officials, including Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Xia Baolong, the head of China’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, over their role in implementing a new security law in the former British colony. The State Department list reinforced sanctions imposed in August under an executive order, which had included one additional name, said Bloomberg.
Officials in the US now have 60 days to identify banks that have business with those on the list, putting lenders at risk of being sanctioned. Banks operating in Hong Kong, including Citigroup Inc. as well as major Chinese lenders, have already been taking steps to ensure they are compliant with US laws.
The follow up will identify “any foreign financial institutions that knowingly conduct a significant transaction with the foreign persons listed in this report,” the State Department said based on what’s laid out in the Hong Kong Autonomy Act.