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HSBC hints money-laundering scandal behind Finsbury Park Mosque account closure rubbished

Finsbury Park Mosque Finsbury Park Mosque

Thursday, August 28, 2014
10:03 AM

Claims a money-laundering scandal led to HSBC closing Finsbury Park Mosque’s bank account have been rubbished this week.

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The banking giant told the St Thomas’s Road mosque their custom was no longer welcome in a letter last month, but refused to say why.

But in the wake of a 300-strong demonstration outside HSBC in Seven Sister’s Road, Finsbury Park, on August 15, the bank hinted it is was related to enormous charges the bank faced for alledgedly helping terrorists and drug cartels clean their cash.

Now Mohammed Kozbar, manager of the mosque, has laid down a challenge to the bank.

He said; “We are 100 per cent sure there is nothing wrong with our accounts.

“All our business is either donations to or from Islington. It’s all local, so we could hardly be laundering money from outside.

“Either they have found something wrong with our accounts, in which case they should tell us so we can talk about it.

“Or make it public, we have no problem.

“We challenge them to do this - to tell us what is the reason?

“If that’s not it, then they’ve decided we are too risky. If so why?

“Our account is in good order, all it can be is our name. And that makes it an Islmaphobic and discriminatory decision.”

The statement form HSBC said: “We do not discuss individual customers, nor do we confirm whether an individual or business is, or has been a customer.

“For context however, HSBC was fined $1.9billion in December 2012 by the US and UK governments and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement.

“The bank is applying a programme of strategic assessments to all of its businesses.

“As a result of these ongoing reviews, we have ended relationships with business and personal customers in over 70 countries.

“The services we provide to charities are no exception to this global review.

“Decisions to end a customer relationship are not taken lightly, and are absolutely not based on the race or religion of a customer.

“We take our responsibilities to customers and society very seriously, and remain committed to supporting our small business and charity customers.“

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