HSBC treads a fine line between angering China and alienating the west

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The bank’s support for Hong Kong laws will see boss Noel Quinn in a tricky spot this week as he reveals its latest results

HSBC’s chief executive, Noel Quinn, will be steeling himself for a grilling on Monday, as the bank’s support for China’s controversial security laws in Hong Kong and alleged role in the arrest of a Huawei executive threaten to dominate its second-quarter results.

The company, which has its global headquarters in London but makes the majority of its profits in Hong Kong and China, will be the last major UK bank to publish earnings next week. But while HSBC is likely to report Covid-19 loan loss charges worth $2.7bn (£2bn) – more than the $2.5bn (£1.9bn) it is expected to make in pre-tax profits – the impact of the virus will be one of the easier topics to tackle as the bank juggles competing geopolitical controversies.

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