Consulates and the Vatican in chaos as HSBC tells them to find another bank…(Now THIS Is Funny!!)
By JOANNE HART
4 August 2013
Diplomats in London have been thrown into chaos after Britain’s biggest bank, HSBC, sacked them as customers and gave them 60 days to move their accounts.
Their situation has been made far worse because other banks have been closing ranks and refusing to take their business.
More than 40 embassies, consulates and High Commissions have been affected. Even the Vatican has been given its marching orders.
The Pope’s representative office in Britain, the Apostolic Nunciature, has banked with HSBC for many years but was told to find another bank.
One diplomatic source said he believed HSBC feared being exposed to embassies after it was fined $2billion (£1.32billion) by US authorities last year.
It was blamed for alleged money-laundering activities said to have been conducted through its Latin American operations by drug cartels. HSBC admitted at the time that it had failed to effectively counter money laundering.
Bernard Silver, head of the Consular Corps, which represents consuls in the UK, said: ‘HSBC’s decision has created havoc. Embassies and consulates desperately need a bank, not just to take in money for visas and passports, but to pay staff wages, rent bills, even the congestion charge.’
Embassies also have to pay for ambassadorial accommodation and sometimes even school fees for diplomats’ children. None of these bills can be settled without a valid British bank account.
John Belavu, minister at the Papua New Guinea High Commission, said: ‘We’ve been banking with HSBC for 22 years and for them to throw us off in this way was a bombshell.’