Hong Kong’s leader is being paid in cash due to US sanctions. Carrie Lam earns $56,000 a month and says money is now piling up at her house.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam attends a news conference following the annual policy address in Hong Kong on November 25, 2020.
  • Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, said she has to keep "piles of cash" at home due to US sanctions.
  • She said: "The government is paying me cash for my salary because I don't have a bank account."
  • Lam earns $672,000 per year and is one of the highest-paid leaders in the world, according to the BBC.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said that she has to keep "piles of cash" at home since she has no bank account due to US sanctions.

In an interview with local English-language TV channel HKIBC on Friday, Lam said: "Sitting in front of you is a chief executive of the Hong Kong SAR who has no bank services made available to her.

"I'm using cash every day for all the things."

"I have piles of cash at home. The government is paying me cash for my salary because I don't have a bank account," she said.

 

In June, China imposed a new security law that threatened Hong Kong's autonomy and also made it easier to punish protesters who have been demonstrating against Chinese attempts to impose more state control, the BBC reported.

Following the controversial law, The White House applied what are thought to be the toughest sanctions yet on Chief Executive Carrie Lam and 14 other senior city officials, according to AFP.

The move means any of their American properties can be seized, any US financial transactions criminalized and assets frozen.

During her interview, Lam added that she did not want to deter people from serving in a public position and said: "To be so unjustifiably sanctioned by the US government, it's an honor," AFP added.

The Chief Executive earns $672,000 per year and is one of the highest-paid leaders in the world, the BBC reported.

Social media users began posting images comparing their own savings at home to Lam's while others questioned how her salary was transported to her, according to Channel News Asia.

In August, the Hong Kong leader told reporters that the US sanctions had caused her a "a little bit of inconvenience" because she couldn't use her credit cards, Channel News Asia added.

On Wednesday, Carrie Lam said that her urgent priority was to restore Hong Kong's constitutional order and pull its political system out from "chaos" during the annual policy address.

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