(Bloomberg) — U.S. President Joe Biden has a message for Wall Street: Beware in Hong Kong.
And with that, a question suddenly confronts C-suites across Manhattan. If the White House wants banks to reconsider their presence in Hong Kong because China is tightening its grip on the territory’s legal and financial systems, what does that mean for their long-held ambitions for expanding in the world’s second-largest economy and its market of 1.4 billion people?
That was among the many thoughts racing through financial executives’ minds on Friday as they scrambled to absorb the full implications of Biden’s warning about living and working in one of the industry’s biggest global hubs. While his broad advisory stopped short of ordering them to scale back investments or leave Hong Kong, administration officials worry that major banks haven’t yet come to grips with the risks they now face in the region.