🇨🇳 🇬🇧 HSBC, one of the world’s biggest banks, became the first in China to establish an internal Communist Party committee, paving the path for global lenders to follow suit.
London-headquartered HSBC has become the first international bank to establish a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) committee, according to a new Financial Times report. China’s companies law requires firms to set up CCP committees, but this rule has been loosely enforced among global financial institutions—until now.
Following the report, HSBC released a statement noting that CCP committees are “common” in mainland China-based companies. “Management has no role in establishing such groups” and these committees exert zero influence on the direction of the business, nor hold any formal role in the business’s day-to-day operations, it added. The bank did not confirm whether its China investment bank had set up the committee. HSBC did not respond to a Fortune request for comment.
HSBC’s actions could pave the way for other foreign lenders in China to do the same. In the last two years, global lenders have begun taking full ownership of their mainland operations, leading them to explore whether they must abide by the law to initiate a CCP committee, according to the FT. “There was an internal email that said we might need to do something, but for the time being…it’s not yet compulsory,” the Asia head of one global bank told the publication.
Asia-Pacific is “central to [our] future growth, investment, and innovation. I want more of our global executive team to be located in key growth regions,” including China, Southeast Asia, and India, HSBC CEO Noel Quinn said at the time.