to want to close my bank account after this gross invasion of privacy?

(368 Posts)
somanymiles Thu 02-Jan-14 11:49:26

I went to get cash out of my bank account this morning to pay the builders (£6,000) and was told I could not take that amount out without hard copy proof of what I was spending the money on eg an invoice. I was given no notice of this so of course did not have anything except a quote on my phone which they did not accept, even though I offered to email it to them. This was not a question of confirming my identity- it was that they have a new policy where you gave to prove what you are spending your cash on. When I asked what the threshold was for the new policy I was told they were not allowed to tell me. I am furious. Surely what I spend my money on us nobodies business but mine. It certainly isn't HSBC's business.I am thinking of closing my accounts there with all the hassle that will entail. AIBU?

GreenIsTheWord Fri 02-May-14 19:05:08

hmm

Do you work for a competitor by any chance?

1mike23 Fri 02-May-14 19:01:12

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

topknob Sun 26-Jan-14 19:04:52

The real reason for this IMHO is that if everyone in the UK decided to withdraw all their money on the same day, the banks wouldn't have the actual cash to cover this, so they make up stupid rules like this. money laundering makes more sense though

NetworkGuy Sun 26-Jan-14 19:00:25

Maybe I should add I am looking forward to the day when I can withdraw say 30K a week (Mon, Wed, Fri) and not tell the bank anything other than how much I will be withdrawing the following week...

NetworkGuy Sun 26-Jan-14 18:49:30

Pumpkinette - can see your support (wrt possibility of forcing cash from someone vulnerable) for policy, but if I had the funds in my account to withdraw say 5K or more, 2 or 3 times a week, then yes, the bank might be suspicious but it's really none of their business what I want to do with my money.

I'm on a loser, whether I say "I like to party with friends, and we snort a lot of coke, so I need cash for my dealer" or if I suggested it was "none of their business". Neither is a "suitable reason" yet the money is still mine, and I don't see how the bank can refuse me access to it...

Pumpkinette Sun 26-Jan-14 14:41:01

Not read all the replys so sorry if this has been said already.

I work for a bank (not in a branch but still) and we go through training every 6 months for fraud and money laundering. We are trained to question usual large cash withdrawals. If you do not usually withdraw large amounts if cash this would raise a red flag.

The banks logic: you could be money laundering, you could be in a situation where someone is forcing you to take the cash out (more common with vulnerable adults/ young people and the elderly), you could be a fraudster stealing the funds from a stolen card. The cashier should be trained to judge how genuine someone is by there answer and if they're not happy then they can ask for proof/ refuse the payment.

Now I'm not saying that what happened to OP was correct but from the other side I can see why it happened. If the OP kicked off or refused to answer what the cash was for then the cashier would most likely just be following her training by not handing the cash over.

We are trained a nice friendly conversation to ask what the cash is for eg: '£6,000 Mrs Smith - are you planning on buying something nice?' Mrs Smith : ' oh I'm buying a car, mine broke down last month so I'm having to buy a new one' ETC

Having seen the type of fraud that happens to people on a regular basis I am inclined to agree with the banks. I am happy to know my money won't just be handed over to anyone should I lose my bank card or be victim of identity theft.

conorsrockers Sun 26-Jan-14 13:36:30

This happened to my mother in law a while back - it's fortunate they did ask her as she was being ripped off by some unscrupulous gents for 'fixing' her drive way. The bank called the police and the police took her home and sorted it out grin However, I would go bat shit if my bank questioned me ... but I've never drawn large amounts of cash - I always do bank transfers so I can prove transactions. £6k cash to a builder sounds dodgy. I am sure Her Maj would be more interested than your bank ....

JadedAngel Sun 26-Jan-14 12:08:22

Saddened but not surprised by this thread. I used to hold a senior position in their press office. This company is corrupt to its very core. The only people they care about are their major shareholders. Customers, suppliers and employees can go hang...

nauticant Sun 26-Jan-14 09:50:04

OK, FootieOnTheTelly my argument is that just because you've never needed £1000 in cash, it doesn't mean that no one else could possibly have the need of £1000 in cash.

Once this is understood, then putting this together with the HSBC climb-down showing that they were refusing to hand over large sums in cash simply because they didn't want to, it follows that it is unreasonable for a bank to refuse to hand over, say, £1000 in cash without an objective reason beyond the fact that is doesn't suit the bank.

Paintyfingers Sun 26-Jan-14 08:13:07

Glad to see they've done a u turn - was just intrusive and a ludicrous interpretation of the rules!

Objection Sun 26-Jan-14 07:42:09

switch to Halifax.
You fill out an online form and the do everything else. (seriously EVERYTHING)
They'll also give you £100 for switching and £5 a month after that.

I was in love with Halifax after my switch and then we had our mortgage with them and they sent us a parcel with wine, chocolates and a tool set as a welcome!!!!

Bloody LOVE halifax!

innisglas Sun 26-Jan-14 04:24:34

Sorry if I am mentioning something that has already been said, but HSBC are notorious money-launderers for Mexican drug lords and terrorists. I'm referring to cases where this bank has been found guilty. I think they are trying to prove that anti-money laundering regularions are not enforceable.

EmmelineGoulden Sun 26-Jan-14 01:25:53

"It may be your money but it's their bank"

I don't understand this as justification at all. If I park my car it may be NCPs car park, but that doesn't mean they should be entitled to demand to know (with documentary evidence!) where I'm driving to before they will release my car. The dry cleaner isn't entitled to see my next black tie invitation before they give me my ball gown back. And the Ocado should not demand copies of my recipies before they will hand over the food I ordered.

FootieOnTheTelly Sun 26-Jan-14 00:43:35

nauticant. Yeah, and being sarcastic to other posters rather than come up with your own valid arguments is one of my favourites. hmm

foreverondiet Sat 25-Jan-14 22:30:52

Maybe looking for tax avoidance? Money laundering? We have been paying builders by bank transfer - much easier than carrying cash around but obviously we are paying the vat.

PigletJohn Sat 25-Jan-14 22:02:39

not that it matters, but when I last bought a car I used Fastpay to electronically transfer the funds to the seller's bank account.

I had already put a deposit on it in the same way, the day I viewed it, and the bank phoned or texted me (can't remember now) to make sure no-one had hacked my account. Having confirmed that, the big payment to the same account went through on demand.

If the seller had been a crook I would at least be able to prove that I had paid him.

nauticant Sat 25-Jan-14 20:41:01

I can't think of a single occasion in my whole life where I have needed more than £1000 or so cash

Why-can't-everyone-in-the-world-be-like-me reasoning is my favourite.

sarine1 Sat 25-Jan-14 20:39:17

I see that HSBC are now grovelling following the customer feedback (and media publicity):
"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 are writing to apologise to any customer who has been given incorrect information and inconvenienced."

And quite right too. I know on this thread there are a number of bank employees (and others) stating that this was a fine and acceptable policy which really amazed me. Glad to see the bank's U turn in the face of public feedback.

JackNoneReacher Sat 25-Jan-14 20:36:17

I'm happy to go along with things that increase security. But how does telling the bank how I'm going to spend my money increase security?

Especially if all I have to say is "on a pair of golden shoes"?

How will that increase security or stop money laundering?

I recently withdrew £5k to buy a car. Didn't get asked what it was for but phoning in advance meant they had it ready.

FootieOnTheTelly Sat 25-Jan-14 20:18:00

Well I don't see it as an 'actual problem'. hmm I am happy to go along with things that increase security. It's a bit like when my credit card gets blocked due to unusual spending - it's inconvenient but I would rather that than risk card fraud.

I can't think of a single occasion in my whole life where I have needed more than £1000 or so cash. I don't pay anyone especially builders cash and would use bank to bank transfer if anyone needed instant cash.

It may be your money but it's their bank confused. There are other banks or underneaths of mattresses

honeycrest Sat 25-Jan-14 19:30:41

I don't know anyone could see this as 'not an actual problem'. The banks have no right to deny someone access to their OWN money. It's none of their business what they are spending it on.

I find it ironic that is is HSBC implementing this rule. The same bank that was actively involved in laundering money for drug cartels.

www.forbes.com/sites/nathanvardi/2012/12/12/forget-the-drug-dealers-and-iran-hsbc-is-having-a-great-year/

I listened to MoneyBox and wondered if the OP was one of the people interviewed. grin
I still don't get the anger over this - I get that it's annoying but not that it's an actual problem.
I noticed that the panel all thought that getting money out to pay builders in CASH was to avoid paying tax confused

NetworkGuy Sat 25-Jan-14 13:16:32

Just a matter of "interpretation" I suspect, some having guidance more strict than others smile

Thanks for the BBC link.

nauticant Sat 25-Jan-14 12:36:33

So, it turns out that HSBC could replace their stupid policy at the drop of a hat:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25861717

But that must mean that many of the comments from banking experts above were a load of hot air. Tell me that isn't so!

NetworkGuy Sat 25-Jan-14 12:31:52

> live with it or move overseas

The day one of my websites has a turnover in excess of £1M a month, I'll definitely be going overseas. (Though I would be aiming to employ a number of UK residents, perhaps 20-30 SAHMs, and VAT may still be payable in the UK.)

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