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HSBC Safeguard

Protecting you from fraud and financial crime

HSBC Safeguard

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.

To do this we need to ensure that all the information we hold for you is correct, complete and up-to-date. Changes in regulations may also mean that we require some additional information which we did not ask you to provide originally.

Information is key to protection

Our systems and processes rely on us having the most up-to-date information about all of our customers. You may be contacted by HSBC to do one or all of the following:

  • confirm or update your existing personal or business details.
  • provide new information which may include original documents.

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.

Safeguard videos

These HSBC Safeguard videos show how HSBC is dealing with financial crime and how your support will go a long way to help us make banking safer.

What is financial crime?

Fraud and financial crime 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 crime can take many forms including money laundering, sanctions breaches, fraud, tax evasion, terrorist financing, bribery and corruption.

What is HSBC Safeguard?

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.

What are sanctions?

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/regions and the names of these are clearly listed on registers such as the Office of Foreign Assets (OFAC) sanctions list.

Why is financial crime suddenly of concern to the bank?

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.

What has financial crime got to do with you or your business?

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.

What information are we likely to request?

If you're a personal banking customer, we're likely to need two types of documents from you: one to confirm your identity and one to confirm your current address. These need to be two separate documents and need to be originals and not copies.

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/regions you do business with.

How will this information protect you or your business?

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 in order to deter and detect financial crime. Even if as a customer you only bank in one country/region, 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.

What will we do with your data?

A 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.

What do you need to do next?

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 or the Contact Centre on 0800 028 088 or + 64 9 368 8557 if calling from overseas (international toll charges apply).

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