(Reuters) -HSBC Holdings Plc’s head of public affairs Sherard Cowper-Coles will step down after making controversial remarks about the British government’s handling of its relationship with China, Bloomberg News reported on Friday.
Cowper-Coles will leave the UK lender next month, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
The former diplomat apologized last month for reportedly calling Britain “weak” for going along with U.S. demands to curtail business dealings with China.
HSBC declined to comment on the Bloomberg report.
Cowper-Coles told a closed-door event in June that Britain would often bow to the demands of Washington and should look after its own interests, according to a Bloomberg report, citing people familiar with the matter.
Last month, HSBC said that Cowper-Coles – who also chairs the China-Britain Business Council and is a former British ambassador – had been at a private roundtable discussion and “shared his personal views”.
“I was speaking at a private event under Chatham House Rule and my personal comments don’t reflect the views of HSBC or the China-Britain Business Council. I apologise for any offence caused,” Cowper-Coles said in a statement provided by HSBC then.
HSBC was accused by two influential U.S. and British lawmakers in June of contributing to the oppression of people in Hong Kong by thwarting their attempts to access pension funds in order to emigrate.
(Reporting by Shubhendu Deshmukh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)