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'Enormous challenge' to produce own Scottish currency

Scotland would face an "enormous challenge" to produce their own currency if it became independent, according to the chair of HSBC, Douglas Flint.

Polls show most Scots want to retain the pound if they become independent.
Polls show most Scots want to retain the pound if they become independent. Credit: Edward Smith/EMPICS Entertainment

He said: "Scotland would be faced with monetary policy implementation without representation - a very odd form of independence."

The three main parties at Westminster have all ruled out the Scottish Government's preferred option of a formal currency union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK.

The Scottish referendum vote will take place on September 18.

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Scotland's economy 'will be in parlous state' if Yes vote

Scotland's economy would be in a "parlous state" if it becomes independent in next month's referendum, the chair of HSBC Scotland claims.

HSBC chairman Douglas Flint.
HSBC chairman Douglas Flint. Credit: PA

Douglas Flint, who describes himself as an exiled Scot, warned that sterling currency was an "anchor of stability" for Scotland.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said: "At the extreme, uncertainty over Scotland's currency arrangements could prompt capital flight from the country, leaving its financial system in a parlous state."

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HSBC closes Bolton charity's bank account

A Bolton-based Muslim charity has accused a bank of putting lives at risk for shutting down its account.

The Ummah Welfare Trust has distributed 70 million pounds to projects in 20 countries. And it's had a presence in Gaza for the past 10 years.

But the charity has now received a letter from the HSBC to tell them their account is being closed for being beyond the bank's "risk appetite".

Mohammad Ahmad is from the charity.

Mosque condemns 'disgraceful' HSBC actions

The chairman of Finsbury Park mosque in north London says he is shocked and angered with HSBC after receiving notice that its account with the bank would be closed.

It is shocking, unbelievable. To send us a letter without any notice. We don't understand why they have taken this action and we are not going to be quiet. It is disgraceful.

As a community organisation we are doing a good job between the communities. We have worked hard since we took over from Abu Hamza.

We have changed the mosque from an atmosphere of hostility to a cohesive atmosphere [...]

We don't receive money from abroad, we don't send any money abroad. Our reputation and credibility is on the line now.

– Mohammed Kozbar, chairman of Finsbury Park mosque

HSBC: Bank closures not based on race or religion

After several Muslim organisations reported having their accounts closed by HSBC, the bank has strongly denied claims that it has made decisions related to "race or religion".

We do not discuss relationships we may or may not have with a customer, nor confirm whether an individual or business is, or has been a customer.

In general terms, decisions 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, and HSBC has comprehensive rules and policies in place to ensure race or religion are never factors in the decisions we make.

– HSBC

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Muslim activist angry after HSBC account closure

A prominent Muslim activist has spoken of his anger after he was told that his bank account is to be closed by HSBC.

Anas Altikriti helped secure the release of British peace campaigner Norman Kember in Iraq.
Anas Altikriti helped secure the release of British peace campaigner Norman Kember in Iraq. Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Archive

Anas Altikriti, chief executive of the think tank the Cordoba Foundation, said he had met with a "wall of silence" from HSBC over its decision to close his account and those of his wife and two sons aged 16 and 12 years old.

The Cordoba Foundation, along with Finsbury Park Mosque in north London and the Ummah Welfare Trust (UWT) have also been told their accounts are to be closed by the bank.

Mr Altikriti, 45, who was born in Baghdad and came to Britain as a young child, said he opened an account with the Midland Bank - now part of HSBC - as a teenager with just a £10 note nearly 30 years ago.

"I am angered because of the wall of silence and the tone of the letter. It is difficult to take as I regard myself as a law abiding citizen who tries to make things better in conflicts around the world and tries to promote peace and dialogue," he said.

New rules prevent repeat of HSBC chief's mega bonus

Stuart Gulliver, who has a £1.25 million base salary, landed a total pay package worth £8 million in 2013. Credit: PA

HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver, who received a total pay package worth £8 million in 2013, will no longer be in line to land as high a sum after changes in European banker bonus rules.

Mr Gulliver's previous pay scheme offered an annual bonus worth up to three times his salary, plus a longer-term share award that pays out as much as six times salary.

But controversial new rules from Brussels, which came into effect in January, prevent the award of bonuses worth more than two times an executive's salary.

HSBC said Mr Gulliver will now receive a fixed pay allowance of £1.7 million, to be awarded in shares on a quarterly basis, on top of his £1.25 million base salary for this year.

HSBC shares slump as profit scale disappoints the City

The increase in HSBC's profits in 2013 still fell below City forecasts. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Shares in HSBC slumped by more than 4% after the haul of £13.6 billion profits in 2013 came in well below City expectations.

The banking group, which has more than 250,000 staff, meanwhile, said chief executive Stuart Gulliver received a total pay package worth just over £8 million for 2013.

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