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Finance

Banks in Hong Kong grade clients for US sanction risk

Institutions squeezed between Washington penalty threat and national security law

Zhang Xiaoming, executive deputy director of Beijing’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, could be one of the officials considered for sanction by the U.S. for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- Global banks in Hong Kong are screening through client lists to identify those most likely to face U.S. sanctions under a new law signed by President Donald Trump to punish those seen as responsible for undermining the city's autonomy.

"The rules are being set and we are racing against time to finish the preparatory work," a senior compliance manager at a U.S. bank said. "So when the list [from Washington] comes out, we can map entities or individuals dealing with those sanctioned quickly."

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