AIG Hong Kong, other financial firms push for LGBT partners’ visa benefits

Recognizing same-sex unions will help keep the financial sector competitive, says an alliance of 12 companies

AIG Hong Kong, other financial firms push for LGBT partners’ visa benefits

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Twelve international financial institutions, including AIG Insurance Hong Kong, are filing submissions to the Court of Appeal, in support of a British lesbian woman whose bid to obtain a dependent visa for her partner from the Hong Kong Immigration Department was denied.

In March, the High Court rejected a judicial review petition from the woman, with the initials QT, who was in a civil partnership in the UK with another woman going by the initials SS. When SS relocated to Hong Kong in 2011 to work for a technology firm, QT was denied a dependent visa, which is regularly granted to heterosexual couples. This forced QT to enter Hong Kong with a tourist visa repeatedly in order to be with SS. She has already filed an appeal for the case.

According to the Hong Kong Free Press, at least 12 financial institutions have sought to become intervenors in the case. These companies say that the results of the case could impact Hong Kong’s competitiveness and ability to hire global talent.

Aside from AIG, the financial companies are: ABN AMRO Bank, ANZ Banking Group, the Bank of New York Mellon, Blackrock Management North Asia, Credit Suisse (Hong Kong), Goldman Sachs Services (Hong Kong), Morgan Stanley Asia, Nomura International Hong Kong, the Royal Bank of Canada, Societe Generale, and State Street Bank & Trust.

Ray Chan, the only openly gay member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, expressed his support on Twitter: “As a financial centre, Hong Kong must stay competitive internationally: equal rights for LGBT talents, dependent visa for same-sex couple.” In another tweet, he said that it was the “right thing to do for business.”

LGBT issues and marriage equality are still controversial in Hong Kong. In April, the High Court ruled that the government should provide welfare benefits to the spouses of civil servants that entered same-sex unions overseas. However, the decision was reversed after outrage from conservative groups.

Related stories:
Lloyd’s boss admits she turned down her first promotion
Insurance and the business case for diversity
International insurer announces LGBT coverage in HK

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!