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In today’s increasingly connected world, it’s more important than ever to ensure your security – especially when it comes to banking. That’s why we’re introducing HSBC Safeguard: a series of initiatives designed to provide better protection for all of our customers from fraud and financial crime across our global processes and systems.
Our systems and processes rely on us having the most up-to-date information about all of our customers. Soon you will be asked to do one or all of the following:
We understand that this may cause some inconvenience, and we apologise in advance for this, but we will work with you to ensure the process is as simple and straightforward as possible.
Fraud and financial crimes are forms of theft. They tend to involve money or property that are gained illegally, and used in a deceptive or illegal manner to gain a benefit from the proceeds. In today's complex economy, financial crimes can take many forms including money laundering, sanctions breaches, fraud, tax evasion, terrorist financing, bribery and corruption.
HSBC Safeguard is a series of initiatives to increase the protection we provide our customers against fraud and financial crime across our global systems and processes. It involves strengthening our ability to combat money laundering and the evasion of sanctions, as these are often the driver behind many financial crimes. In addition, we will no longer be offering products such as travellers’ cheques, as we believe they are no longer a safe enough way for our customers to convert their money and we may review other products like this over time.
Sanctions are a policy tool which national governments and organisations such as the United Nations and European Union use to constrain and deter perceived threats to their security, or to conform international conduct to recognised international standards. Sanctions help to stop crimes like terrorism, drug trafficking and arms dealing by imposing restrictions on the business that banks can do with specific people, corporations or countries and the names of these are clearly listed on things like the Office of Foreign Assets (OFAC) sanctions list.
At HSBC, addressing financial crime globally has long been one of our main priorities.
However criminal activity has become increasingly sophisticated in recent years, and fraudsters, money launderers and others have attempted to target global networks like banks.
Improving the way we share and manage customer information will help us fight against the risk of financial crime. After all, it’s our duty to ensure that you can bank with us safely, securely, and confidently.
As the world becomes more and more connected and information moves around at a greater pace, there are unfortunately greater opportunities for criminals to misuse the financial system. A key defence against money laundering is to prevent accounts being opened in false identities. We also sometimes need to verify where funds are from as part of our ongoing efforts to track our customers’ legitimate funds and to protect them from financial crime. Criminals will try to appear to be law abiding citizens or businesses and therefore we need to request documentary evidence from all of our customers in order to fully protect them and their accounts.
If you’re a business customer, the documents we will need will depend on the size and nature of your business. However we are likely to need you to confirm your legal entity structure and beneficial owners as well as countries you do business with.
As more and more of our customers live, travel and trade internationally, we’re always looking for better ways to help you do the things you want to do safely. Part of this is to protect our customers around the globe. Our global systems and processes work by sharing data and customer information across borders to the extent permitted by applicable laws and regulation in order to deter and detect financial crime. Even if as a customer you only bank in one country, locally, we have a duty to protect your account as financial crime is a global operation.
By confirming your details and making sure that all the information we hold about you is up-to-date, you can be certain that no one else is able to misuse your account and that in turn we only act on genuine requests from you.
The sole purpose of gathering this information is so that our systems and processes can protect both our customers and the bank against financial crime. We take our obligation to protect your data very seriously, so all the information you provide will be subject the HSBC Group's high data and security standards and will only be shared to the extent permitted by applicable laws and regulation. The intent is only to use this information for your protection and will NOT be used by any third parties for marketing purposes.
You don't need to do anything at the moment. In order to manage the process, we'll be contacting customers individually on a phased basis to let them know when they need to update their information. Depending on your contact preferences, look out for an email or a letter in the near future.
For more information, please feel free to call your Relationship Manager.