HSBC sees risks of wider contagion to markets from Russia-Ukraine conflict – CEO

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HSBC branch in Hong Kong

LONDON – The boss of HSBC, one of Europe’s largest banks, said on Tuesday he was concerned about the risk of “wider contagion” for global markets from the deepening crisis in Ukraine.

Noel Quinn told Reuters in an interview that while the direct exposure for HSBC was limited, he was alert to wider fallout.

“It’s clear that there is a likelihood of contagion or some second order effect, but it will depend on the severity of the conflict and the severity of the retaliation if there is a conflict,” he said.

Ewen Stevenson, the bank’s chief financial officer, told Reuters the bank was monitoring the security situation for its 200 staff in Moscow but was not currently considering withdrawing employees.

“Frankly, our main focus today is the safety and security of our own staff. The great majority of whom are Russians,” he said.

(Reporting by Lawrence White, writing by Iain Withers, editing by John O’Donnell and Louise Heavens)

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