Tuesday, 10 December 2013

West Briton highlights HSBC injustice

Thursday 5th December 2013

'Bewildered' by bank's decision to shut accounts

A Truro man is 'bewildered and angry' after his bank closed his accounts without giving any reason.

Development worker David Roberts was left 'astonished' after HSBC told him it intended to close all of his accounts without giving any reason.

Mr Robert, 54, has been with the bank for 35 years, having set up his first account with HSBC's predecessor, the Midland Bank.

He said: "I'm bewildered and angry. It's quite astonishing and stressful. The letter states that they intend to close all of the accounts I hold with them. They give not the slightest explanation for why they consider this action to be necessary. Neither do they give me the option of keeping the accounts open or even politely inviting me to appeal the decision. Yet my accounts are in a healthy state.

Mr Roberts said staff at the Truro branch had always been helpful.

He said: "My gripe is with the head office of HSBC who think they an just show me the door after 35 years of being a customer."

Mr Roberts said he had learnt that any bank could close an account with no explanation, potentially leaving the customer in great difficulty.

He said: "One of the difficulties for me is if I don't know why they are closing my account then how do I choose a new bank?"

Mr Roberts carries out language development work in Africa, which means his account is untouched for long periods and is then in use every day.

He said he had "absolutely no idea" if that had prompted the bank's action.

"I want to prove my innocence. I feel branded as a criminal", he said.

"I consider this to be a completely unacceptable way of treating a loyal customer.

A spokesman for HSBC said it could not discuss individual cases.

The spokesman said "I'm afraid account closures can be a difficult decision for the bank to take and for a customer to accept."

"As a bank committed to controlling and managing risk to the highest international standard in every country we operate in, we may have to take the difficult decision to close a customer's account where we do not feel that risk can be managed to those standards."

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