Frequently asked questions

Click on one of the sections below to find answers to questions you may have

About HSBC Safeguard

What is HSBC Safeguard?
In today's technology-driven world, banking security has never been more important. At HSBC we're constantly putting new and better ways in place to protect our customers' accounts. This is why we're introducing HSBC Safeguard; a series of initiatives designed to better protect all our customers from fraud and financial crime. To do this effectively, we need a little help from you. We have global systems that deter and detect criminal activity. To work most effectively, these systems rely on having the most up-to-date customer information. Now we need to confirm that the information we have about you is both accurate and current.

How will HSBC Safeguard protect me?
To detect criminal activity our global systems rely on having your most up-to-date information. We use this information to provide your account with world-class protection against crime.

Why do you suddenly need this information? Don’t you have it already?
We need this information so that we can protect you and us from financial crime. Knowing who our customers are and understanding how they use their accounts ensures we can do this. To protect us both, we need to ensue that the information is accurate, up to date, and complete.

What has financial crime got to do with me?
Financial crime can affect anyone and everyone. Your support will go a long way to help us make banking safer.

Security has always been important. Why are you asking for more information now?
Constant changes in technology and the way companies do business has affected the whole banking industry and, in turn, how we protect it. Fraud and financial crime is 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-do-date information.

Will my everyday banking change?
If some of your information is incomplete, or is not up to date, we may not be able to provide you with all our banking services.

How it affects you

I haven't been contacted. Will I be?
You will only receive a letter if we need you to get in touch.

Why do I have to provide all these documents?
To understand the daily activity on your account, our global systems need your most recent information. This will help us deter any potential risks of fraud and financial crime.

Why do you need to see my utility bills?
Utility bills are considered one of the safest ways to confirm address details as online statements can be manipulated. While we appreciate it can be inconvenient to produce original documents (or certified copies), we do need these documents to protect your account from potential misuse.

Why do you need to see my passport/ID card?
It's important we can verify your identity. A passport or national identity card is often one of the simplest and most readily available documents you can provide. Please note that we will require a certified copy (not the original).

I have a business account and a personal account with HSBC. Why have I just been contacted about one of them?
We are reviewing all HSBC accounts. To keep any inconvenience to a minimum, we'll share the information gathered with other areas of the bank in the UK to reduce the number of times you may be contacted.

I'm a customer of HSBC in more than one country. Will I still have to provide the same information to you in more than one country?
Laws and regulations vary from country to country, which is why you may have been contacted more than once for the same information. We apologise for any inconvenience but it's important you respond to each request that you have received. To avoid confusion we've kept the information as consistent as possible within the constraints of local regulation.

Do I need to visit my local branch?
No, not unless you have been specifically asked to. By now you may have received a letter from us, which will explain your next steps. If you are still unsure, you can contact our Customer Support team using the numbers at the top of this page.

What happens if I don't provide the information?
Ultimately, if we don't receive your up-to-date information we may not be able to provide you with all of our services. We need to ensure you're fully protected from financial fraud and crime - if we don't have the right information, we can't do this. As soon as we receive your information, we'll update our records - so you won't be contacted again.

When do I have to provide the information by?
We'll send you reminders and give you sufficient time to provide the information. If you're having trouble gathering information please do let us know as soon as possible so we can help wherever we can. It may be possible for us to rely on alternative documents in your possession. If you think you may need more time or have any further questions, please get in touch with our team using the numbers at the top of this page.

Data and security

Why do you need to share customer data across the HSBC Group?
As more and more of our customers live, travel and trade internationally, we're always looking for better ways to help you bank safely - wherever you are in the world. Our global systems and processes work by sharing data and customer information across borders to prevent financial crime. You may only bank in one country but we have a commitment to protect your account globally. Therefore we need to share customer data across all parts of HSBC Group.

What will you be doing with the data? How will it be stored and protected?
We'll use this information to protect you, and ourselves, from financial crime. We take our obligation to protect your data very seriously. All the information you provide will be subject to HSBC Group's data and security standards to ensure its protection. We'd like to reassure you that your information will only be used for your protection and won't be passed to any third parties for marketing purposes.

Documents and certification

I'm a UK customer, what can I show for identification?
Please provide one document from this list, making sure your document is both current and a certified copy (not the original):
• Passport – full and not expired
• Driving Licence – current full or Provisional UK photo card driving licence and not expired
• Driving Licence – current full UK paper driving licence and not expired (old style)
• HM Revenue & Customs tax notification – dated within last 4 months
• Benefits agency letter (Department of Work and Pensions, Jobcentre Plus, Child Benefit Office, Veterans Agency) confirming your rights to benefits (dated within last 4 months)
• Current national identity card (only acceptable for EEA or Swiss national customers)
• Disabled parking document (blue or orange - must include photo, date of birth and signature)
• Letter from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (dated within last 4 months)
• Current Northern Ireland voter's card
• Travel documents (issued in the UK by the Home Office)

I'm a UK customer, what can I show for proof of address?
Please provide one document from this list, making sure your document is both current and a certified copy (not the original):
• Council tax bill (valid for current year).
• Utility bill (dated within last 4 months).
• Telephone bill (dated within last 4 months) – mobile phone bills are not acceptable.
• Sky or cable TV bills (dated within last 4 months).
• Home broadband bill (dated within last 4 months).
• Credit card bill (dated within last 4 months). 
• A non-HSBC bank, building society, credit union statement – showing current activity (dated within last 4 months).  
• A non-HSBC mortgage statement from a recognised lender (dated within last 12 months).
• Disabled parking document (blue or orange, the document must include your signature, photograph and date of birth).
• HM Revenue & Customs tax notification.
• Tenancy agreement (must be from a local council or reputable letting agency).
• Recent benefits agency letter (Department for Works & Pensions, Jobcentre Plus, Benefits agency, Veterans Agency) confirming your right to benefits (dated within last 4 months).
• National Health/Medical Card (under 18s only).
• Conditional or unconditional proof of acceptance onto qualifying course – letter or slip issued by UCAS (student accounts only).
• Local Education Authority notice of financial support (student accounts only).

I'm a UK customer, how do I get my documents certified?
1. First, you'll need to ask one of the following professionals to certify your documents:
Professional
Airline pilot
Barrister
Chairman/Director of limited company
Chartered accountant
Chartered legal executive
Financial services intermediary
Fire service official
Funeral director
Legal secretary
Licensed conveyancer
Paralegal (must be qualified)
Solicitor
Commissioner of oaths
Public Service and Government
Councillor (local or county)
Civil servant (permanent)
Justice of the Peace
Local government officer
Member of the judiciary
Member of Parliament
Police officer
Post office official
Surveyor
Teacher or lecturer
Healthcare
Dentist
Medical doctor
Nurse (RGN or RMN)
Officer in the armed services
Optician
Pharmacist
Other
Salvation Army officer
Trade union officer
Valuer or auctioneer
Warrant officers
Chief petty officers
Person with an honours (such as an OBE or MBE)
Member of an incorporated society
Merchant navy officer
Minister of recognised religion
Officer in the armed services

2. Next, ask your chosen certifier to write one of the following two lines on the document they are certifying:
A. For documents that contain a photo:
"I, [full name of certifier], confirm that this is an accurate copy of the original and the photo is a true likeness of the person concerned."
They should also write:
•     Their signature and full name, printed on the document
•     Their occupation, company (or professional) address and phone number
•     Their professional registration number (if they have one)
•     The date of certification
B. For documents that don't contain a photo:
"I, [full name of certifier], confirm this is an accurate copy of the original."
They should also write:
•     Their signature and full name, printed on the document
•     Their occupation, company (or professional) address and phone number
•     Their professional registration number (if they have one)
•     The date of certification

3. Finally, you'll need to send us the certified documents together with the document header using the pre-paid envelope we provided.

I live overseas, what information do I need to provide?
The information can vary depending on where you live. We'll advise exactly what you'll need to provide. We may ask to see proof of identity, in which case please provide one of the documents below and make sure it's both current and a certified copy (not the original):
• Your current passport or travel document (copies of passports should include all pages that contain signatures, the passport number and any extension dates where applicable
• Your current national identity card (EEA or Swiss Nationals only)
We may also ask to see proof of your address, in which case please provide one of the documents below and make sure it's both recent and certified:
• Your valid overseas driving licence (a copy, not the original)
• A utility bill (dated within the last 4 months)
• A non-HSBC Group Bank statement. It needs to be dated within the last 4 months

I'm an overseas customer, how do I get my documents certified?
1. First, you'll need to contact one of the following:
• Your local bank and ask them to certify your documents. Explain that you are asking because you are resident in a country of equivalent jurisdiction to the UK. (If you're unsure whether your country of residence is of equivalent jurisdiction to the UK, please contact us using the numbers at the top of this page.)
• The UK Embassy or Consulate where a certification service is provided. For information visit www.gov.uk/government/world/organisations (This link will open in a new browser window.)
• Contact a lawyer, solicitor or barrister in your country of residence listed by visiting www.legal500.com, or by choosing one from the list provided by the UK Embassy at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/list-of-lawyers   (These links will open in a new browser window)

2. Next, ask your chosen certifier to write one of the following two lines on the document they are certifying:
A. For documents that contain a photo:
"I, [full name of certifier], confirm that this is an accurate copy of the original and the photo is a true likeness of the person concerned."
They should also write:
•     Their signature and full name, printed on the document
•     Their occupation, company (or professional) address and phone number
•     Their professional registration number (if they have one)
•     The date of certification

B. For documents that don't contain a photo:
"I, [full name of certifier], confirm this is an accurate copy of the original."
They should also write:
•     Their signature and full name, printed on the document
•     Their occupation, company (or professional) address and phone number
•     Their professional registration number (if they have one)
•     The date of certification

3. Finally, you'll need to send us the certified documents together with the document header using the pre-paid envelope we provided.

Get in touch

Call us on:
UK

08000 30 45 16

Lines are open from Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm

Textphone: 0345 7125 563

From overseas, call:

+44 1226 260 878

Lines are open from Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm


Lines are open from Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.

Get in touch

Call us on:
UK

08000 30 45 16

Lines are open from Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm

Textphone: 0345 7125 563

From overseas, call:

+44 1226 260 878

Lines are open from Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm


Lines are open from Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.

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