Following China’s attempt to thwart the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, since April the Asian financial hub has seen capital outflows of nearly $5 billion, said the Bank of England.
According to the central bank’s Financial Stability Report, the flight of capital, which accounts for nearly 1.25% of the region’s GDP, began after the city’s government with support from China’s communist rulers pushed for a bill that would allow extradition to Mainland China.
“These political tensions pose risks, given Hong Kong’s position as a major financial center,” said the report.
The central bank monitors Hong Kong closely since UK banks including HSBC and Standard Chartered have a strong presence in the island territory.
In October, analysts at Goldman Sachs had said, about $4 billion of deposits may had fled from Hong Kong to Singapore between June and August 2019.
This is on contrast to the stand taken by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the central bank in the Chinese-ruled kingdom, which has maintained that there are no apparent signs of major capital flight from the territory.