Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has stuck the boot into HSBC, telling the global bank that Hong Kong citizen rights should not be sacrificed for banker bonuses.
HSBC was quickly condemned when the bank backed China's new security laws last month.
Raab told parliament yesterday: “On HSBC and banks, I’ve been very clear in relation with HSBC and ... all of the banks: the rights and the freedoms and our responsibilities in this country to the people of Hong Kong should not be sacrificed on the altar of bankers’ bonuses.”
The security laws in Hong Kong came into effect on Tuesday night - making activities deemed subversive or secessionist punishable by imprisonment. The law was introduced to target anti-government demonstrators.
Hong Kong police have already made arrests under the new law, including one person said to have displayed a sign with the Union flag which called for Hong Kong's independence.
The law also sees Chinese security agencies in Hong Kong for the first time and allows extradition to the mainland for trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party.
China's parliament adopted the law in response to protests last year.
Protestors believe Beijing is stifling the city's freedoms, guaranteed by a "one country, two systems" formula agreed when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
In retaliation Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to extend the right of Hong Kong citizens to live and work in the UK.
Johnson confirmed Britain would open a pathway to citizenship for around Hong Kong British National passport holders following the introduction of China's new security law. The move could affect nearly three million people.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Johnson said the new law “constitutes a clear and serious breach of the Sino-British joint declaration”.