HSBC Allegedly Scrubbed References to Russian Invasion in Reports

UK bank HSBC allegedly edited out portions of its’ analyst’s research publications that excluded references to a “war” in Ukraine. 

According to a report by The Financial Times (FT) quoting two unidentified people, HSBC committees that review all externally published research and client communications have altered various papers to soften the wording used on the Russian invasion, including altering the word “war” to “conflict.”

The edits in the research publications sparked internal debate and strong complaints from some staff. 

According to an unnamed source close to the bank quoted in the FT report, the changes made in the research publications were delicate since HSBC employed roughly 200 people in Russia, where the Kremlin had enacted a stern new rule punishing anybody who spread false information about the Ukraine conflict, with prison sentences of up to 15 years.

Members of the UK parliament, particularly members of the Treasury select committee, pressed HSBC to follow suit with the sanctions against Russia. 

HSBC has refrained from announcing a withdrawal from Russia although it has stated that it is completely following sanctions and would not take on new business there.

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