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  • FIRST POST
    • ross12
    • By ross12 20th Dec 17, 9:34 AM
    • 2Posts
    • 1Thanks
    ross12
    HSBC is suddenly closing my account
    • #1
    • 20th Dec 17, 9:34 AM
    HSBC is suddenly closing my account 20th Dec 17 at 9:34 AM
    Hi everyone,

    I thought I'd start this thread in relation to a bizarre letter I got through the post.

    I am a small business owner and have been banking with HSBC since November 2009. I do mostly online banking and it works fine - no issues.. To my surprise, I got a letter stating that they are closing my accounts, and no apparent reason is given. Only that on 1st of February 2018 they will terminate all related services.. And I should start making my own arrangements.
    For the last 20+ years my credit rating is and has always been A+. Never been nowhere near overdraft with this account, never asked for a loan.. Each and every payment and transaction has been on time and accounted for.. Just straight paying in by clients and payments to me and my accountant.. If I say that it all came as a surprise to me, it will be an understatement..

    Is out there anybody with same or similar experience?
    I don't know anybody who's been in a situation like this, and wanted to find out what other options are there. Wanted to get as much info I can.. Moreover, how does this affect one's credit rating, and so on..

    Any thoughts or comments will be greatly appreciated..

    Cheers

    Ross
Page 1
    • Kim_13
    • By Kim_13 20th Dec 17, 9:46 AM
    • 1,901 Posts
    • 2,037 Thanks
    Kim_13
    • #2
    • 20th Dec 17, 9:46 AM
    • #2
    • 20th Dec 17, 9:46 AM
    Are you using a personal account for business transactions? This is against the terms and conditions so would explain why they were closing your accounts if this were the case.

    Business accounts have fees attached and while they can be burdensome for a small business, there's nothing you can do about them other than make use of whatever free business banking is available. Have a look at this article which outlines some of the free banking periods available: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/banking/small-business#acc
    Sealed Pot 11 #520 ~ /£100
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    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 20th Dec 17, 10:32 AM
    • 22,820 Posts
    • 18,841 Thanks
    agrinnall
    • #3
    • 20th Dec 17, 10:32 AM
    • #3
    • 20th Dec 17, 10:32 AM
    Are you using a personal account for business transactions? This is against the terms and conditions so would explain why they were closing your accounts if this were the case.
    Originally posted by Kim_13
    You could be right, but I would have expected HSBC to say so if this was the reason. The fact that they haven't given a reason might suggest that they are unable to give one, for instance if there was suspicion that the account was being used for money laundering (although in that case I wonder if it would have been immediate closure).
    • thriftytwosome
    • By thriftytwosome 20th Dec 17, 11:11 AM
    • 77 Posts
    • 101 Thanks
    thriftytwosome
    • #4
    • 20th Dec 17, 11:11 AM
    • #4
    • 20th Dec 17, 11:11 AM
    Just a thought, is it anything to do with FATCA regulations? I know they wanted all sorts of information earlier in the year threatening to close accounts if it wasn’t forthcoming.
    • poppy10
    • By poppy10 20th Dec 17, 12:24 PM
    • 6,216 Posts
    • 7,545 Thanks
    poppy10
    • #5
    • 20th Dec 17, 12:24 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Dec 17, 12:24 PM
    HSBC laundered billions for Mexican drug cartels. They were almost put out of business by the US authorities, they were only allowed a deferred prosecution on the condition that they clean up their business, making sure they gather more information about where they are taking in money and ensuring it is legit. If they are in any doubt they will close the account, they don't want to take any risks of handling dodgy money again.

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-hsbc-smallmid/exclusive-small-uk-companies-complain-after-hsbc-accounts-frozen-idUKKCN1B41YO

    "Anti-money laundering regulations prevent banks from informing customers why their accounts are being closed or suspended where such activity is suspected. In some cases, HSBC may be powerless to tell customers why they are suffering."
    • ross12
    • By ross12 20th Dec 17, 12:32 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    ross12
    • #6
    • 20th Dec 17, 12:32 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Dec 17, 12:32 PM
    Thank you for your feedback guys.

    As thriftytwosome pointed out, HSBC bank is threatening to close the account if you do not fill in some information they are after.
    I have had the privilege to do it twice, sometime a month ago and again today.
    Whatever personal info I sent them before, they claim that is incomplete and I had to do it again. After having spent endless hours online and over the telephone, if they are happy with the information I provided, the account will not be closed. Didn't get an affirmative answer.

    This thing is called HSBC Safeguard, but personally I think they just harvest your personal data, so can bombard you with taylor made advertising for their products. Plus wasting about half hour in filling it up. Pure statistics on their 700000 business customers. Moronic too.

    Answer to the first question is no. Mine is a Business Current account. I do not use personal accounts for business transactions / purposes. It is something you just don't do. You can get heavily fined.

    Kind regards

    Ross
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 20th Dec 17, 1:16 PM
    • 22,820 Posts
    • 18,841 Thanks
    agrinnall
    • #7
    • 20th Dec 17, 1:16 PM
    • #7
    • 20th Dec 17, 1:16 PM
    You can get heavily fined.
    Originally posted by ross12
    Really? Who by? And for what offence?
    • molerat
    • By molerat 20th Dec 17, 3:20 PM
    • 21,407 Posts
    • 15,664 Thanks
    molerat
    • #8
    • 20th Dec 17, 3:20 PM
    • #8
    • 20th Dec 17, 3:20 PM
    Really? Who by? And for what offence?
    Originally posted by agrinnall
    Probably in a regulated financial business.
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    • kim1485
    • By kim1485 1st May 18, 5:18 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    kim1485
    • #9
    • 1st May 18, 5:18 PM
    HSBC is trying to close my account
    • #9
    • 1st May 18, 5:18 PM
    We are having problems too with HSBC trying to close our small business account. It is all being done on the pretext of preventing fraud but I think, actually, that they just want to get rid of unprofitable small business account holders. Every time we think we've given them the information they need, we get another letter saying that something else is wrong (including their assertion that a current signature does not match the one that was given to them when we opened the account 15 years ago). We provided proof of identity (driving licence) yet still they were sniffy about the signature not matching exactly (I mean, whose signature matches the one they had so many years ago?). If I didn't think that every other bank is as bad, I would switch accounts.
    • Westie983
    • By Westie983 1st May 18, 9:26 PM
    • 4,773 Posts
    • 15,388 Thanks
    Westie983
    This thread is five months old, if you want to get further help or advice might be a better idea to make a thread of your own.

    Westie983
    Save 12k in 2019 #42 Total (£16000)+£2000/£12000 = 16.66%
    Sealed Pot Challenge ~ 12 #97 Total (£450)+£55/£500 = 11.00%
    Xmas 2019 £1 a Day #20 Total (£165)+£133.00/£365 = 36.43%
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    Total £3388.00/£15865 = 21.35%
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    • Flightrightmike
    • By Flightrightmike 6th Sep 19, 7:22 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Flightrightmike
    Same.
    I too have had the same problems. I have a business current account with HSBC and have had my account closed twice. The first I got to know about the account closure is when I couldn't access my account. Apparently I got sent a letter about business details updates if you don't respond they shut you down. The details they required are absolutely ridiculous for a small business and only apply to large businesses and companies mainly doing business globally. It's clearly box ticking at its worst. Ive been unable to move my money for several days because of this and I am seeking legal advice for compensation. Oh and moving my account too.
    • Kentish Dave
    • By Kentish Dave 6th Sep 19, 7:29 PM
    • 806 Posts
    • 1,492 Thanks
    Kentish Dave
    HSBC laundered billions for Mexican drug cartels. They were almost put out of business by the US authorities, they were only allowed a deferred prosecution on the condition that they clean up their business, making sure they gather more information about where they are taking in money and ensuring it is legit. If they are in any doubt they will close the account, they don't want to take any risks of handling dodgy money again.

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-hsbc-smallmid/exclusive-small-uk-companies-complain-after-hsbc-accounts-frozen-idUKKCN1B41YO

    "Anti-money laundering regulations prevent banks from informing customers why their accounts are being closed or suspended where such activity is suspected. In some cases, HSBC may be powerless to tell customers why they are suffering."
    Originally posted by poppy10
    This is not correct, HSBC we’re not active participants, they were fined because their anti money laundering procedures were not sufficiently robust.

    For some reason the idea has propagated that they themselves were laundering; this was never the case.

    That’s why banks are so strict now, not only must you try to spot and stop it, your checks need to be very robust. It’s worth losing literally millions of customers in error now than risking another fine for letting some slip through.
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 6th Sep 19, 8:30 PM
    • 64,944 Posts
    • 57,263 Thanks
    Thrugelmir
    Apparently I got sent a letter about business details updates if you don't respond they shut you down. The details they required are absolutely ridiculous for a small business and only apply to large businesses and companies mainly doing business globally. It's clearly box ticking at its worst.
    Originally posted by Flightrightmike
    We've a case in our local court currently. Where an extended family family and their friends laundered some £9 million through some 100 bank accounts. There's serious crime going on if you haven't realised the fact. Much related to the increase in knife attacks.
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