Think your bank deposits are safe, just because the FDIC now insures accounts up to $250,000?
Better think again.
Until customer complaints forced a reversal of policy, the British multinational bank HSBC unilaterally imposed a restriction blocking customers from withdrawing large amounts of money from their own accounts, unless they could provide the bank with a “good reason” for it.
After the uproar in London when the BBC reported the new policy, HSBC issued a statement claiming the concern was money laundering. The bank notified customers that it would “not necessarily” deny depositors the ability to withdraw large amounts of cash from their accounts.
The HSBC explained in its statement that it has “an obligation to protect our customers, and to minimize the opportunity for financial crime.”
“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,” HSBC said. “We are writing to apologize to any customer who has been given incorrect information and inconvenienced.”
I think it could have been a trial balloon.