The Malta Independent 1 October 2023, Sunday
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HSBC Malta questioning clients requesting large cash withdrawals

Malta Independent Tuesday, 28 January 2014, 13:12 Last update: about 10 years ago

HSBC Malta is asking customers affecting large cash withdrawals for evidence as to why the cash is required. This has raised ire among customers who do not understand why they should be questioned on how they use their own money.

In reply to questions by The Malta Independent, HSBC Malta directed this paper to a statement issued yesterday by HSBC UK.

The bank says that the new policy, which has been in place since November, is all part of an effort to protect customers and reduce the risk of “money laundering, fraud and other crimes.”

“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,” the statement read.

“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,” the statement concluded. 

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