The HSBC branch at Kowloon Hotel, where the suspected unfinished counterfeit banknotes were found. Photo: Google Maps

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited filed a report with the Hong Kong police after a safe deposit box was found to contain unfinished counterfeit banknotes and suspicious liquids, along with foreign banknotes of undetermined authenticity.

Amid the closure of the HSBC branch at Kowloon Hotel, 21 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, safe deposit box customers had been notified of the requirement to empty their boxes by Tuesday, Apple Daily reported.

One box belonging to a Malaysian tenant remained unclaimed at the deadline, prompting the bank to examine its content, which included 100 US$100 notes, 5,000 US$1 notes, and a small amount of euro banknotes.

The bank notified the police as the box also contained suspicious items such as a stack of blank notes and bottles of solvent, Oriental Daily reported.

The preliminary police investigation found that the blank notes were semi-finished fake banknotes printed with US and euro currency watermarks, and the solvent was consistent with that used in producing counterfeit money.

The police listed the case as suspected counterfeit banknotes found. No arrests have been made.

An HSBC spokesperson declined to comment as the case is under police investigation.