A French documentary film about HSBC claims Hinkley Point is a ‘trojan horse’ for Chinese finance.
‘Gangsters of Finance’, released last month by ARTE, charts the rise of HSBC as a ‘pirate bank’, asking why the company has evaded justice after countless scandals since 2008.
Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) initially served as a foothold for British trade in the Asian continent, under the British Crown Rule of Hong Kong from 1841 – 1997. But the film explains HSBC has now become a conduit for Chinese investment into the West, as China’s economic dominance and ambition grows.
Featuring interviews with Dame Margaret Hodge (Labour MP), John Christensen (Tax Justice Network), HSBC shareholders, nuclear experts, journalists and more, the film suggests Hinkley Point was forced upon the UK, under threat that other Chinese investments would be pulled, and is described as ‘the deal of the century.’
The film is available (with English subtitles) below courtesy of ARTE, until February 2018.
China General Nuclear holds a 33% stake in the Hinkley Point C plant, located in Somerset, alongside French energy company EDF. HSBC were advisors in the deal. Last week, EDF suggested a second plant costing £5billion less could be built by the firm.
Why would the UK surrender its nuclear energy supply in such a way? Gangsters of Finance explains HSBC has maintained a pact with the Conservative government who protected the bank at all costs, while HSBC supplied investment from China in various projects.
The film points to George Osborne as the guard of HSBC, having written to Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, pleading with him not to prosecute the bank or withdraw its licence over the Mexican Drug Cartel money laundering scandal. Further, Osborne granted anonymity and immunity from prosecution to the wealthy clients involved in the Swiss Tax evasion leaks in 2015.
Osborne’s departure from government has not stopped these appointments, however. Rona Fairhead, head of risk and audit at HSBC during the Mexican money laundering scandal, was made a Trade Minister and given a peerage in 2017, following in the footsteps of Stephen Green – a HSBC Chairman appointed to the House of Lords in 2010.
We spoke to HSBC Whistleblower Nicholas Wilson about Fairhead’s appointment at the time. See the interview below.