Most people have a very huge mis-concept of banks..
They are commercial entity... most of their services are provided economically for free, especially if you don't intend to keep a large deposit in the system.
Simple economics, if you place 1mio HKD deposit in their system, and average 2.0% interest rate, they would make 0.5% off you (i.e. 5k HKD) if they manage to lend out at 2.5% mortgage rate..
Consider that if you have a syrian nationality, your account would likely be flagged as 'requires attention'.. and their KYC/Compliance chap would need to spend extra 3 hours going thru systems and asking various documents from you to try to make sure you are clean...
From what i gathered, the whole streets are short of KYC/Compliance area guys as HKMA are getting drastically strict on this part of most banks.. Then they have all reasons to figure out a way to reject you.
Rejection is a commercial decision... Compliance mechanism is set by a bank, and they set that decision based on their own commercial logic/economics. Not based on a social service mentality..
So best solution.. go hunt around and see if any bank are willing to open your account. The smaller chinese banks probably have less concerns with having these rare passport copies floating around than your typical HSBC/SCB/Citibank, all whom have been fined zillions of dollars in the last 5-10 years dealing with middle eastern clients.