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  1. ITV Report

HSBC closes the account of Finsbury Park mosque

Finsbury Park mosque Photo: ITV News

One of the country's biggest banks has been criticised after a London mosque and other Muslim organisations had their accounts closed.

HSBC wrote to Finsbury Park mosque saying it would no longer provide banking service because it "falls outside of our risk appetite"

Mosque trustee Khalid Oumar told ITV News: 'They should be really ashamed. We clearly see it as an islamaphobic campaign that would only harm the social cohesion in society.'

The mosque gained notoriety more than a decade ago as the powerbase of radical preacher Abu Hamza but was taken over by moderates in 2005.

Letter sent from HSBC to Finsbury Park mosque Credit: ITV News

Local MP Jeremy Corbyn called on the bank to explain its actions: 'The Charity Commision have been involved in this. They are very happy with the way the mosque is run. They have no concerns, no complaints whatsoever.

'If it's good enough for the Charity Commission, surely it should be good enough for the bank.

Londoner Anas Altikriti, who runs an Islamic think tank called the Cordoba Foundation, revealed he, his wife and two teenage children had all received similar letters from HSBC:

'We don't give money to organisations which aren't properly registered. We don't give donations to individuals for instance and we have many of those saying well I'm travelling tomorrow to Syria.

We never support or condone that kind of behaviour.'

HSBC refused to explain what it meant by the phrase 'falls outside our risk appetite' but denied it was targetting Muslim account holders.

'In general terms, decision to end a customer relationship are not taken lightly, but are absolutely not based on the race or religion of a customer.

'Discrimination against customers on grounds of race or religion is immoral, unacceptable and illegal.'