Financial institutions

‘Financial institutions are losing patience’ with Hong Kong, admits Lam

Thursday, March 17, 2022 8:42 a.m.

People stand in front of an electronic screen showing the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong’s Central District (ISAAC LAWRENCE/AFP) (Photo by ISAAC LAWRENCE/AFP via Getty Images)

Hong Kong’s leader today admitted that the city’s controversial ‘Zero-Covid’ restrictions are blocking businesses and wearing down its people.

Carrie Lam has since been forced to reconsider the financial hub’s strict Covid-19 restrictions, while the number of cases remains high – but is thought to have peaked.

“Now is the time” to review the measures, which prompted the United States to warn against travel to the city over fears of child separations earlier this month, Lam told a conference. daily press on Thursday.

“Not because the number of cases has gone down… but I have a very strong feeling that people’s tolerance is fading,” Lam added. “Some of our financial institutions are losing patience with this kind of isolated Hong Kong status.”

Lam declined to indicate when the restrictions might be eased, saying “the hardest part of fighting the virus is that we can’t fully predict what will happen.”

Some 300 medics arrived in the city earlier yesterday, a second tranche of additional support from the mainland, as temporary morgues were set up across the city – which is believed to have the highest virus death rate in the world.

While JPMorgan and Bank of America have been working on relocation plans, according to a Financial Times report last week, HSBC has continued to double its Asian pivot.

Financial institutions have hinted at the difficulty of flight bans and impending lockdowns since Hong Kong’s fifth wave swept through the city late last year, citing difficult hiring environments.

The city of 7.4 million yesterday reported 29,272 new infections and recorded 217 deaths.