End the Lie

HSBC prevents large cash withdrawals without proving it is needed

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By End the Lie

A branch of HSBC in London, England (Image credit: vivido/Flickr)

A branch of HSBC in London, England (Image credit: vivido/Flickr)

British customers of HSBC have reported that they were prevented from withdrawing large sums of cash unless they provided proof that it was needed, according to the BBC.

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The bank admitted that they did not tell customers about the new policy, implemented in November, and the bank told one customer that they did not need to pre-notify any customers.

Customers were prevented from withdrawing sums ranging from £5,000 to £10,000, according to the BBC.

“When we presented them with the withdrawal slip, they declined to give us the money because we could not provide them with a satisfactory explanation for what the money was for,” Stephen Cotton said to BBC Money Box. “They wanted a letter from the person involved.”

Cotton gave up on his attempt to take out £7,000 to pay off a loan from his mother, opting to just withdraw £3,000. The clerks told him that he could not withdraw another £3,000 that day.

Two others told Money Box that they were prevented from withdrawing cash. One man named Peter was told he would have to provide receipts to prove he was going to pay for travel and a woman was told she had to provide a quote from the contractor she was going to pay.

“We ask our customers about the purpose of large cash withdrawals when they are unusual and out of keeping with the normal running of their account,” the bank said. “Since last November, in some instances we may have also asked these customers to show us evidence of what the cash is required for.”

While the bank says they are no longer going to make it “mandatory for customers to provide documentary evidence for large cash withdrawals,” they said they still reserve the right to ask questions.

Douglas Carswell, the Conservative MP for Clacton, told the BBC that the practice is troubling, as it treats customers like children.

“In a sense your money becomes pocket money and the bank becomes your parent,” Carswell said.

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7 Responses to HSBC prevents large cash withdrawals without proving it is needed

  1. Anonymous January 25, 2014 at 7:05 PM

    so basically its the banks money and not yours

  2. John January 26, 2014 at 4:52 AM

    This problem is global in nature. I don’t know the precise law in Britain, but in the USSA, the Dodd Frank bill of 2010 opened the door to bail-ins by turning the depositor into an UNSECURED CREDITOR.

    As an unsecured creditor, the “money” you place in the bank IS NOT YOURS, IT IS THE BANK’S. The sooner people understand this (here, there and everywhere), the sooner they can begin to protect their assets. It’s only gonna get more dire from here, and heart-breaking stories will eventually be the norm.

    You snooze, you lose.

  3. Paul Prichard (Paper Bear) January 26, 2014 at 5:22 AM

    How is this not slavery ? And is gold, silver and bitcoin not self-ownership ?
    And the bitcoin payment network won’t be treating people as slaves.

  4. Jay Kenney January 26, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    Let’s see if I have this straight. The bank, without notifying it’s customers, it has the authority to withhold customers’ money without “adequate written permission? That is the height of arrogance. I’d change banks IMMEDIATELY!

    • Rick January 27, 2014 at 3:43 AM

      My thoughts exactly.

  5. Judith Jones January 26, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    My local branch of HSBC informed me that I could not close my account – I was closing it because they were inefficient and rude – unless I signed a form to say that I was closing it because I was moving from the area. If I didn’t do this ‘it would take months.’

  6. Ronnie January 28, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    It appears that the banks are now working on self-service and not customer service.

    Since they simply must know why, why don’t they ask us the following questions when we open an account? “Why do you want an account with us?” “You do understand that you have to have a permission slip to get ‘your’ money back if its over some arbitrary amount which we will set?” “You do understand that once we have your money, and we were to say, misplace it, you’re last in line to have a claim on it?” “You do understand that banks are for Bankers and not depositors?” No, they won’t ask those questions will they?


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