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HSBC threatens account closures for customers flouting mask rules

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13/01/2021
HSBC is warning customers that their accounts may be closed if they refuse to wear masks in branch.

The banking giant has issued a reminder that face masks are mandatory in all bank branches, unless people are legally exempt.

For those flouting the rules, it said it could result in accounts being closed.

Jackie Uhi, head of branch network, HSBC UK, said: “Our branch colleagues are key workers, continuing to go to work in our branches every day so that customers who need them can access essential financial services.

“Sadly, some people are failing to protect themselves, our branch colleagues and other customers by refusing to wear a face covering inside our branches or observe social distancing. Our colleagues deserve respect and should not have to face violent or abusive behaviour.

“Consider whether you need to visit the branch or could manage your banking from the safety of your home via our digital channels. If you do visit us, please wear a face covering and maintain a safe distance from others.

“If individuals put themselves or our colleagues at risk, without a medical exemption, we reserve the right to withdraw their account.”

What are other banks’ policies?

Barclays: Barclays said it asks customers to wear face masks at all times when visiting branches and it displays Covid signs to emphasise this. Staff are also asked to remind customers “where appropriate”.

If customers refuse, then branch staff are able to refuse service, again if this is deemed appropriate.

A spokesperson, said: “If, unfortunately, customers become overly aggressive towards our colleagues for whatever reason we reserve the right to close accounts but we are not threatening to close accounts due to Covid compliance/mask wearing.”

Lloyds: The health and wellbeing of customers is a priority and it continues to follow government advice. Face coverings and social distancing is essential.

Nationwide: A spokesperson, said: “The safety of our members and colleagues is paramount at what remains a difficult time for us all. This is why, in line with government guidelines, we require everyone who comes into branch to social distance and wear a face covering, unless they are medically exempt.

“All branches are perfectly within their rights to refuse to serve anyone not wearing a face covering, unless they are medically exempt.”

Santander: A spokesperson, said: “Our branch colleagues continue to work very hard to support our customers and their safety remains a priority. To help with this, we are encouraging all customers to wear a mask along with other measures to ensure social distancing and hygiene is maintained.”

TSB: Carol Anderson, TSB’s director of branch banking, said: “We take the safety of our colleagues and customers very seriously. When visiting our branches, we require all individuals (except those exempt) to wear face coverings at all times and maintain a safe distance from others. If individuals put customers or colleagues at risk, we will take appropriate action.”

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