HSBC statement of surrender to customers’ ire:
“25 Jan 2014
“As a responsible bank 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. Since last November, in some instances we may have also asked these customers to show us evidence of what the cash is required for. The reason being we have an obligation to protect our customers, and to minimise the opportunity for financial crime. Large cash transactions have inherent security issues and leave customers with very little protection should things go wrong, by asking customers the right questions, we can explore whether an alternative payment method might be safer and more convenient for them.
“However, following feedback, we are immediately updating guidance to our customer facing staff to reiterate that 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.”
(Tyler Durden, author of the column, notes: “After all the last thing the bank, which over the past few years has been implicated in aiding an abetting terrorists and laundering pretty much anything, wants is an implied capital shortfall to become an all too explicit one.”
(I wondered about the bank’s on-hand cash. Other than not having enough money, why else would a bank insist on its right to decide whether depositors could have their own money?
(“As a responsible bank …” “… we have an obligation to protect our customers …” We are taking care of you, you inconsiderate oafs!! “We apologise to any customer who has been given incorrect information ...” No one complained of incorrect information. The information was quite clear: We have your money and you may not get any of it until you prove to us your need for it.)