A protester sets fire to an ATM at HSBC branch

A leading financial institution of United Kingdom is caught up in the political upheaval of months of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. As some of the branches of HSBC had been attacked by the protesters in this week and daubed red paint on a pair of bronze lions outside the bank’s Hong Kong headquarter.

HSBC, the largest bank in the city of the Hong Kong has been accused of working with Chinese authorities to cut off funding for the protesters. HSBC has denied the allegations and also condemned what it described as repeated acts of vandalism against its branches. The bank said in a statement on Thursday, that it was working to restore the ATM and other banking services at Hong Kong branch, which had been suspended as a result of the attacks.

London Stock Exchange is at risk of losing Chinese business because of Beijing’s anger at Britain’s stance on the protests in Hong Kong. Citing multiple sources, Reuters reported that a partnership between the London and Shanghai stock exchanges was being suspended because of political tension.

Neither the exchanges, nor Chinese financial regulators, responded to requests for comment. The Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates UK financial markets, declined to comment.

The intense wave of relations with Beijing comes, as Britain looks to build stronger commercial ties with countries such as China and U.S, as it prepares to leave the European Union. Brexit will take place at the end of this month but a huge cloud of uncertainty still hangs over the future of trade between Britain and its biggest export market. Financial services are central to the UK economy, accounting for 13% of all exports and providing over 1 million jobs.

The link between the London and Shanghai exchanges was first announced in 2015. It allows UK-listed companies to sell shares in China and permits Chinese companies to raise money on the UK market, giving them access to a bigger pool of international investors.