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HSBC is targeting MPs with data requests after categorising them as 'politically exposed persons', and may close accounts if they don't comply. HSBC has targeted MPs with demands for sensitive private information as part of a crackdown by the bank on "politically exposed" customers. The move has left some feeling they will lose their banking facilities unless they comply. A Labour MP who is a longstanding customer of HSBC contacted Guardian Money to say he had been asked by the bank to disclose information about his finances, including accounts he has with other banks, and his "sources of wealth". At first he thought it may be a "phishing" [problem], where fraudsters try to obtain people's private details by masquerading as their bank or an official body, but the letter was genuine, and was followed up earlier this month by a phone call. The MP, who declined to be named, says he explained to the bank that the information being sought was "inappropriate", and when he asked what would happen if he didn't co-operate, the suggestion was that his account may be closed. The MP – who still hasn't handed over the requested information – was left wondering what on earth was going on, and, when he got in touch with us, we were similarly bemused. The answer, it transpired, is that HSBC has decided the MP is in a category of high-risk customers known as "politically exposed persons", or Peps. Even though, according to HM Revenue & Customs, he definitely isn't one of those. And he hasn't been singled out for special (mis)treatment. It is understood that every MP who banks with HSBC is being quizzed – and, presumably, other public figures, too. More: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2012/jun/15/hsbc-mps-politically-exposed-persons