HSBC Bank Current Affairs - 2020

HSBC PMI: Service sector output drops in December for 6th consecutive month

The HSBC Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), compiled by Markit, fell to 46.7 in December from 47.2 in November, registered the sixth consecutive monthly drop in output levels, the longest period of continuous reduction since the 2008/2009 global financial crisis.

  • The sharpest decline in new orders was noted in hotels and restaurants. The post and telecommunications sub-sector remained resilient, with growth in both business activity and new orders.
  • The HSBC/Markit manufacturing PMI showed India’s manufacturing sector decelerated marginally to 50.7 in December as a slowdown in domestic order flows led to slower output growth.
  • Thus, the HSBC India Composite Output Index, which maps both services and manufacturing, stood at 48.1, below the crucial 50 mark, for the sixth consecutive month.
  • The index dropped from November’s 48.5, indicating a slightly faster rate of contraction.

Note: An index value of less than 50 indicates contraction.

British Tax authorities probing charges against HSBC

image The British tax authorities launched an investigation into allegations of money laundering against HSBC.

  • HSBC Bank has been accused of opening offshore bank accounts in Jersey for serious criminals living in Britain.
  • This move from British Tax authorities came after a whistleblower was secretly provided a detailed list of names, addresses and bank accounts of HSBC’s alleged clients.
  • These were said to include names of several people with criminal convictions, including gun-runners and drug dealers.

Contrast with India

  • Observers are contrasting the prompt action taken by British authorities with the Indian government’s response to similar allegations against HSBC involving Indian clients, where Indian government took no action against HSBC when India Against Corruption (IAC) charged HSBC for alleged involvement in Hawala (Money Laundering).
  • Also, Indian Govt took no action since more than a year after the French government gave India a CD containing names of 700 Indian clients who had accounts in HSBC’s Geneva branch.