FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong-based wealth clients probed for pro-democracy ties

"Politically exposed persons" can have a hard time accessing banking services.

Global wealth managers are probing their Hong Kong-based clients for links to the pro-democracy movement in order to avoid getting in trouble with China’s new security law, reports Reuters.

Credit Suisse, HSBC, Julius Baer, and UBS, amongst others, are expanding scrutiny under their programs that screen clients for political and government ties and placing them under additional diligence requirements, sources said.

Being designated as a “politically exposed person” can make it more difficult or prevent someone from accessing banking services, depending on what the bank finds about the person’s source of wealth or financial transactions.

The checks at some wealth managers have involved combing through comments made by clients and their associates in public and in media, and social media posts in the recent past, sources added.

The new law prohibits what Beijing broadly describes as secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with up to life in prison for offenders.

Here's more from Reuters.

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