What is an APPG inquiry?
All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are cross-party groups that have no official status within Parliament. They are run by and for Members of the House of Commons and House of Lords, in order to discuss and take action on topics and countries of interest.
APPGs may undertake inquiries on particular areas of interest in order to collect evidence for the purposes of answering their designed question. Their conclusive inquiry is often used to advise government.
About the APPG on Hong Kong
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Hong Kong was formed in November 2019, in response to the acute political and social crisis in Hong Kong, and re-launched in January 2020. Its purpose is "to promote democracy and the rule of law, and to defend human rights in Hong Kong, to share information about Hong Kong, and to nurture relations between the United Kingdom and the people of Hong Kong".
The APPG's inquiries reflect the unique relationship that the United Kingdom holds with Hong Kong. Having signed the British-Sino Joint Declaration alongside the People's Republic of China, the UK has a legal, historical and moral duty to ensure the city retains its legislative and political freedoms from mainland China and that its people are safe.
Inquiry into British banks operating in Hong Kong
In September 2021, The APPG on Hong Kong decided to undertake a full international inquiry into the actions of British banks operating in Hong Kong.
Scope of the inquiry:
The scope of the inquiry is as follows:
Have the actions of British banks operating in Hong Kong contributed to the suppression by the Hong Kong government, its police and its justice system, of the human rights of freedom of expression, movement, assembly and association, and property; have the actions of British banks been in line with their duties to protect human rights; do the actions of British banks operating in Hong Kong create any risk to the UK; and what will be the future impact of the National Security Law on banks and institutional financial probity in Hong Kong.
British banks operating in Hong Kong
The concept of a 'British bank operating in Hong Kong' could be defined in many technical ways. For the purposes of this report we invite evidence about the operations of banks which have headquarters in the United Kingdom and/or are substantially listed on the London Stock Exchange, and which are reasonably perceived as benefiting from the rule of law and the respect for human rights to upholding which the British government and its agencies are generally committed, and which are widely understood to be conducting substantial business in Hong Kong.
Contribution to the suppression of human rights of
Freedom of expression
Freedom of movement
Freedom of assembly and association
Right to enjoy property
We invite submissions of evidence citing specific examples, if any, of actions by British banks which have contributed to the suppression of the above rights as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
We invite submissions of evidence of specific examples, if any, of British banks acting in a way that is inconsistent with their duties to protect human rights under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
The future impact of the National Security Law on banks and institutional financial probity in Hong Kong
We invite submissions, supported by evidence, assessing the future impact of the National Security Law on British banks and institutional financial probity in Hong Kong.
Other matters of relevance
Whilst we specifically invite submissions on the preceding four issues, we also invite the submission of evidence on any other matters relating to British banks in Hong Kong that respondents consider relevant to this inquiry.
Inquiry into violations of human rights and humanitarian principles
In 2020 the APPG on Hong Kong undertook an inquiry into possible human rights abuses of humanitarian and medical workers and symbols in Hong Kong since the start of the 2019 protests. It invited individuals and organisations from Hong Kong and international organisations to submit evidence to the inquiry team, as well as a group of international lawyers and human rights experts, led by the APPG, to curate, analyse, and evaluate the evidence of the inquiry.
The final report can be viewed online here.
How will your information be used and GDPR:
The administration of this inquiry is being undertaken on behalf of the APPG on Hong Kong by Whitehouse Communications, registered with the Information Commissioner's Office. Whitehouse will only use your information for the purpose of this APPG inquiry. We will not share your data with any external organisation and can assure you that your information is encrypted and secure. If you decide to send evidence with us via email, please be aware that our email system is also encrypted and that we have taken necessary steps to ensure it is secure.
We consider that, under the GDPR, the lawful basis for processing your data is that we are engaged in a public task. Specifically, processing this data is necessary for Parliamentary functions, in this case, undertaking an APPG inquiry. The operation of the GDPR in relation to data collected and processed pursuant to Parliamentary functions is modified by the Data Protection Act 2018. Details about the lawful basis for processing personal data can be found on the Information Commissioner’s website here.
You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office, the supervisory authority, about our collection and use of your personal data. They can be contacted at Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF or www.ico.org.uk. Further details about your rights and the complaints process can be found on the Information Commissioner’s website here.