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January 27, 2014

HSBC apologized for the cash withdrawal issue in London

LONDON – The British bank HSBC has apologized after reports that some customers were prevented from withdrawing large sums of cash from their accounts.
HSBC said that, as part of a policy change put into effect in November, it began asking customers in some instances to show evidence of what they planned to do with large cash withdrawals.
“It is not mandatory for customers to provide documentary evidence for large cash withdrawals, and on its own, failure to show evidence is not a reason to refuse a withdrawal,” the bank said in a statement. “We apologize to any customer who has been given incorrect information and inconvenienced.”

The British Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio 4 reported on its “Money Box” program on Saturday that some customers were not allowed to withdraw amounts above 5,000 pounds in cash, or about $8,253.

The policy change was part of the bank’s efforts to comply with regulations to fight money laundering, which require banks to report suspicious behavior, such as withdrawing large amounts of cash.

For example, banks operating in the United States are required to report cash transactions above $10,000 to the government, as well as transactions that occur under dubious circumstances.

“Cash presents more risk, and in particular financial crime risk, than other payment methods. It also leaves customers with very little protection if things go wrong,” the bank said.

“Therefore, we need to monitor particularly closely movements of cash in and out of the banking system. This is why we ask our customers about the purpose of large cash withdrawals when they are unusual and out of keeping with the normal running of their account.”

Two years ago, HSBC agreed to pay a record $1.9 billion to settle charges by authorities in the United States that the bank had lax controls against money laundering and allowed hundred of millions of dollars of suspicious transactions by customers in Mexico and other nations, including drug proceeds.

As part of the settlement, the bank pleaded guilty to violating several laws in the United States, including the Bank Secrecy Act, but avoided criminal prosecution.

“Asking the right questions, protecting our customers and reducing the risk of money laundering, fraud and other crimes, means we are doing the right thing and fulfilling our responsibilities as a bank and to society at large,” the bank said.

Source : HSBC apologizes after cash withdrawal issue in Britain

HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), Europe’s largest bank, may be overstating its assets by as much as $92.3 billion and need to raise capital, according to analysts at Forensic Asia led by Thomas Monaco.
Loan loss reserves, tax assets and pension plan assets at the London-based bank are “questionable,” Monaco and Andrew Haskins wrote in a note to clients on Jan. 14, rating the bank a sell. The firm may need as much as $111 billion of capital, they wrote. HSBC spokeswoman Heidi Ashley declined to comment.
New Basel III rules on capital, “coupled with asset valuation concerns, lead us to conclude that HSBC’s stated capital ratios are substantially weaker than the group would have investors believe,’ the analysts wrote in the note.
Chief Executive Officer Stuart Gulliver in November said the lender was optimistic amid a broadening economic recovery. He said in May that he will cut an additional $3 billion of expenses after beating an earlier target with the closing or sale of 60 businesses and the elimination of 46,000 jobs since the start of 2011.
Out of 46 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, 25 rate HSBC a buy, 18 a hold and three a sell. The Daily Telegraph reported the note earlier today.
To contact the reporter on this story: Howard Mustoe in London at
Quoted from

125 Years HSBC in Indonesia

 HSBC is one of the largest banking and financial services group in the world, with a network which spans across 85 countries and diverse 296,000 work force all over the world. Headquartered in London, United Kingdom, HSBC seek to find the world's potentials through 7,200 offices in both established and emerging markets. HSBC is acknowledged as the world's leading international bank.

HSBC has a very long history in Indonesia. It has been operating in Indonesia since 1884 in Jakarta (formerly known as Batavia). It initially served the important sugar trade and then expanded to Semarang and Surabaya. However, the bank faced obstacles along the way as the bank was forced to close operation during World War II and in the mid 1960s. However, HSBC was granted with a new banking license in 1968, and the bank has remain steady ever since. Now HSBC served its customer in Indonesia through 49 branches in 6 major cities across Indonesia, namely Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, Surabaya, Batam and Medan. Our services is supported by more than 3,000 employees, today HSBC Indonesia has grown into Indonesia's leading international bank, offering wide range of services in retail banking and wealth management, corporate and investment banking, institutional banking, treasury capital markets and Syariah banking services.

The recognition of recent achievements by HSBC Indonesia in 2011 include FinanceAsia's Best Foreign Commercial Bank, Trade Finance Magazine's Best Foreign International Trade Bank, Asiamoney's Deal of the Year, Euromoney Best Sukuk Deal - Republic of Indonesia USD Global Sukuk, Deal of the Year- Axis World, Most Valuable Banking brand in the world by Forbes Global, 1st Rank in Euromoney FX Survey, Bisnis Indonesia Banking Efficiency Award as well as Indonesia's Sustainable Business Award 2012 and Indonesia Green Awards which reflects HSBC's commitment in local community sustainable activities.

BI Says HSBC Needs Approval to Divests Stake in Bank Ekonomi,
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Bank Indonesia had requested that HSBC Holdings Plc asks its permission before divesting the latter's stake in PT Bank Ekonomi Tbk (IDX: BAEK). BI Governor Agus Martowardojo said that a shares release must be done only with the central bank's permission.
"If a bank is planning to do a corporate action then it must seek BI's permission. The central bank will then assess the plan," Agus said in Jakarta, June 3.
Agus explained that potential investors must know that BI will be imposing new rules related to the share ownership of banks. National banks whose shares are owned by local or foreign investors would have to conform to the maximum limit of share ownership.
The maximum limit is set at 40 percent for shareholders from banks and non-bank financial institutions, 30 percent for shareholders from non-legal entities of financial institutions, and 20 percent for individual shareholders.
For shareholders coming from banks' financial institutions, they can have more than 40 percent stake in a commercial bank, but only with BI's approval and supervision.
As reported by Reuters on May 31, HSBC Holdings is considering the option to divest 98.94 percent of its stake in Bank Ekonomi. This statement was delivered by HSBC in response to the request confirmation by the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) following the market speculation.
HSBC bought 88.9 percent stake in Bank Ekonomi from the Wings Group for US$607.5 million in October 2008. In August 2009, HSBC bought another 10 percent stake from the public for $71.6 million.
HSBC President Director Stuart Gulliver said the bank has released its stake in 50 firms because the business units were considered non-profiting.
"Indonesia is one of the 22 countries that become HSBC's business priority," he told Reuters
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