HSBC Safeguard

Protecting you from fraud and financial crime

In today's increasingly connected world, there is a greater need for security especially when it concerns banking. At HSBC, we are committed to protecting our customers from fraud and financial crime in the best way possible.

Fraud and financial crime is becoming increasingly sophisticated and globally organised. That is why we are introducing HSBC Safeguard, a global HSBC Group initiative driven by our commitment to protect customers and the financial system from fraud and financial crime. To do this, we are implementing measures to prevent financial crime everywhere that we do business.

Information is the key to protection

Our systems and processes rely on us having the most up-to-date information about all of our customers. From time to time as the situation arises, you may be contacted by us to do one or all of the following:

  • confirm or update your existing personal or business details
  • provide new information which may include original documents

We apologise in advance that this may cause some inconvenience, but we will work with you to ensure the process is as simple and straightforward as possible.

Data protection and security

The purpose of updating the information of existing customers and collecting the information of new customers is to ensure our systems and processes can protect both our customers and the bank against financial crime. We take our obligation to protect your data very seriously, so all the information you provide will be subject to HSBC Group's high data and security standards. The intent in asking you to confirm or update your existing information and provide new information is to use this information for your protection only.

What you need to do next?

You do not need to do anything at the moment. In order to manage the process, we will be contacting customers individually on a phased basis to let you know when you need to update your information.

Have more questions? Find your answer in our FAQs.

About HSBC Safeguard
HSBC Safeguard and you
Data and Security

What is HSBC Safeguard? How will HSBC Safeguard protect me?

HSBC Safeguard is a series of initiatives designed to increase the protection we provide our customers against fraud and financial crime across our global systems and processes. It involves strengthening our ability to combat money laundering and the evasion of sanctions, as these are often the drivers behind many financial crimes. In addition, we will no longer be offering products such as travellers' cheques, as we believe they are no longer a safe enough way for our customers to convert their money. We may review other products like this over time.

To detect criminal activity, our global systems rely on having your most up-to-date information. We use this information to protect your account from potential misuse and provide protection against fraud and financial crime.

What is financial crime?

Fraud and financial crimes are forms of theft. They tend to involve money or property that are gained illegally, and used in a deceptive or illegal manner to gain benefits from the proceeds. In today's complex economy, financial crimes can take many forms including money laundering, sanction breaches, fraud, tax evasion, terrorist financing, bribery and corruption.

What are sanctions?

Sanctions are a policy tool which national governments and organisations such as the United Nations and European Union use to constrain and deter perceived threats to their security, or to require international conduct to conform to recognised international standards. Sanctions help stop crimes like terrorism, drug trafficking and arms dealing by imposing restrictions on the business that banks can do with specific people, corporations or countries. The names of these are clearly listed on resources like the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions list.

Why is financial crime an increasing concern?

At HSBC, addressing financial crime globally has always been one of our main priorities.
However, criminal activity has become increasingly sophisticated in recent years, and fraudsters, money launderers and others have attempted to target global networks like banks.

Improving the way we share and manage customer information will help us fight against the risk of financial crime. After all, it's our duty to ensure that you can bank with us safely, securely and confidently.

I have banked with you for years. Why do you suddenly need additional information?

We understand your concerns and would like to take this opportunity to thank you for using our banking services. As a responsible bank, ensuring that our customer account information is up-to-date is a key part in making banking more secure for customers. Additionally, by getting up-to-date account information, we will be able to provide you with more personalised banking services. We thank you for your understanding and support.

I have completed similar types of banking transaction many times before, why are you asking me so many questions now?

We understand your concerns and appreciate that you may have been using HSBC to meet your banking needs for a long period. As fraud and financial crime is becoming increasingly sophisticated, we need to adopt new measures to provide you with better protection. Therefore, from time to time, we do need to update our customer records to ensure they are current and complete. Having stronger checks will help prevent fraud and other financial crime.

Don't you have all of the information that you require?

Don't worry. We will periodically conduct reviews with customers to obtain the most relevant and up-to-date information. This is to ensure that all of the information we have is accurate, up-to-date and covers details that you haven't provided before or weren't previously required. The information you provide will help us protect your account from potential misuse. With all this information, we will be able to provide you with more personalised banking services.

What has financial crime got to do with me or my business?

As the world becomes increasingly connected and information moves around at a greater pace, there are unfortunately greater opportunities for criminals to misuse the financial system. A key defence against money laundering is to verify the origin of the funds from time to time as part of our ongoing efforts to track our customers' legitimate funds and to protect them from financial crime. Criminals will try to appear to be law abiding citizens or businesses and therefore we need to request documentary evidence from our customers in order to fully protect them and their accounts.

Security has always been important. Why are you asking me for more information now?

Constant changes in technology and the way companies do business have affected the whole banking industry and, in turn, how we protect it. Fraud and financial crime are becoming even more sophisticated and globally organised - so we have to be more vigilant than ever. We need you to help us stay one step ahead of financial crime by providing us with up-to-date information.