London-based HSBC has threatened to shut down customers’ bank accounts if they refuse to mask up during visits to the bank’s U.K. branches.
What are the details?
According to a Thursday report from the
Daily Mail, the bank announced this week that it reserves the right to cancel the accounts of any customer who will not wear a face mask in its branch offices.
In a statement, Jackie Uhi, HSBC U.K.’s head of branch network, said, “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 behavior. Consider whether you need to visit the branch or could manage your banking form the safety of your own home via our digital channels.”
Uhi added that the bank reserves the right to “withdraw [the] account” of any customer who violates the government guidelines.
Uhi’s statement added, “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.”
According to the U.K’s Sun, banks, at the time of this reporting, are permitted to stay open during the country’s third lockdown as they “provide essential financial services.”
“But as part of government guidelines, banks and building societies are included in the list of public places where you must wear a face mask,” the outlet notes. “There are scenarios where you may be allowed to take off your covering, for example, if bank staff need to see your face for identification purposes.”
A spokesperson for HSBC told the outlet that it hasn’t yet been forced to close down any accounts due to a violation of face mask regulations.