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We apologise to customers who has been inconvenienced: HSBC

It is not mandatory for customers to provide documentary evidence for large cash withdrawals, HSBC says

January 27, 2014 7:51 IST | India Infoline News Service
The British bank HSBC on Sunday has apologised after reports that some customers were prevented from withdrawing large sums of cash from their accounts.
HSBC said that, as part of a policy change put into effect in November, it began asking customers in some instances to show evidence of what they planned to do with large cash withdrawals.

As a responsible bank we must track all financial transactions. Cash presents more risk, and in particular financial crime risk, than other payment methods. It also leaves customers with very little protection if things go wrong. Therefore, we need to monitor particularly closely movements of cash in and out of the banking system. This is why 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, HSBC said in a statement.

Since last November, in some instances we may have also asked these customers to show us evidence of what the cash is required for. However, it is not mandatory for customers to provide documentary evidence for large cash withdrawals, and on its own, failure to show evidence is not a reason to refuse a withdrawal. We apologise to any customer who has been given incorrect information and inconvenienced, it said further.

Asking the right questions, protecting our customers and reducing the risk of money laundering, fraud and other crimes, means we are doing the right thing and fulfilling our responsibilities as a bank and to society at large, HSBC added.

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