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HSBC bank has reportedly asked more than 40 diplomatic missions to close their accounts as part of a programme to reduce business risks.
The Vatican's ambassadorial office in Britain, the Apostolic Nunciature, is among those said to be affected.
HSBC said embassies were subject to the same assessments as its other business customers. They need to satisfy five criteria - international connectivity, economic development, profitability, cost efficiency and liquidity.
A spokesman said: "HSBC has been applying a rolling programme of "five filter" assessments to all its businesses since May 2011, and our services for embassies are no exception.
The Riggs National Bank in Washington was fined and later sold off after a 2004 US Senate report revealed executives in its embassy business had helped Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet hide millions of dollars.
HSBC was fined $1.92bn (£1.26bn) by US authorities last year after it was blamed for alleged money laundering activities said to have been conducted through its Latin American operations by drug cartels.
Originally posted by stormcell
The bank doesn't want to be rolled into any scandal or investigation involving corruption, bribery, money laundering, tax avoidance, cronyism, so they've politely told these embassies to go away.edit on 4-8-2013 by stormcell because: (no reason given)
and that is what they are declaring for half a year .
Originally posted by Flavian
reply to post by Wrabbit2000
To be honest, as they have posted first half profits today of £9.2 billion, i don't think they will be that bothered about potentially "losing" this custom.
HSBC first half profits rise 10%