Some of the biggest global banks operating in Hong Kong have called for a peaceful solution to the ongoing political crisis taking place in the city.

HSBC, Standard Chartered and Bank of East Asia have called for a peaceful resolution to the political crisis taking place in Hong Kong, in their advertisements published in several local newspapers Thursday.

Both HSBC and Standard Chartered are British financial powerhouses having operated in Hong Kong for more than 150 years. They published full-page advertisements in multiple local newspapers Thursday where they expressed concern about the ongoing clashes and stand-off between the pro-democracy protesters and the Chinese government.

HSBC’s ad, which appeared on five newspapers including the Hong Kong Economic Journal, Wen Wei Po and Ming Pao, read, "Social stability and the quality of remaining calm in the face of all sorts of challenges are the cornerstones of Hong Kong's success. Maintaining the rule of law is essential to the international financial center status that is unique to Hong Kong."

“Only in a peaceful and rational environment can we facilitate communications, resolve the divide facing us and open up a beautiful future of this international metropolis," Standard Chartered said in its advertisement, expressing support for the “one country, two system” policy.

Both advertisements were published in Chinese.

"We condemn all forms of violence and hope the city can restore peace and order as soon as possible, so that Hong Kong can focus on dealing with other challenges that we are facing now," Hong Kong-based Bank of East Asia said in its ad.

The advertisements came at a time when international businesses operating in Hong Kong were forced to take a pro-government stance and lay-off employees who had anything to do with the protests.

In a memo sent out to the employees, HSBC reaffirmed its apolitical stand but failed to give a proper answer when questioned if the advertisements were published under pressure from the government, according to Financial Times.

Recently Cathay Pacific had to replace its chief executive Rupert Hogg after a number of the airline's employees took part in the protests.

HSBC said the advertisements were not a part of any coordinated effort with other banks. The three banks are the latest to speak up, joining a list of property developers, accounting firms and prominent businessmen, against the protests which is now heading toward its 12th consecutive weekend. 

Last Sunday almost 1.7 million people had joined a peaceful anti-government march, with more such demonstrations being planned in the coming days.

Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Victoria Park in Hong Kong for the latest anti-government rally Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Victoria Park in Hong Kong for the latest anti-government rally Photo: AFP / Manan VATSYAYANA