UK-based banking giant HSBC has ended its links with Britain’s biggest government-funded Muslim charity allegedly over fears of terror funding.
The bank had taken the decision to cut ties with Islamic Relief a year ago amid concerns that cash for aid could end up with terrorist groups abroad, The Sunday Times reported on Sunday.
The decision, which has not been made public before, has upset the charity, that receives millions of pounds from the United Kingdom’s department for international ievelopment (DfID).
Islamic Relief says HSBC’s stance led to delays in buying tents for survivors of the Nepal earthquake last year.
HSBC has halted services for other Muslim groups in the past, but Islamic Relief — which operates in more than 40 countries — is the most high-profile to be affected.
Imran Madden, Islamic Relief ‘s UK director, said discussions took place with HSBC in 2014 in which “the bank felt it difficult to continue its relationship with us due to the nature of our work”. Madden told the newspaper: “They invited us to end the relationship — which we did at the end of the year. We were and remain extremely surprised by HSBC’s stance.
“Islamic Relief ‘s mission is to alleviate poverty and suffering where most needed and that means we are committed to operating in complex conflicts where proscribed organisations are sometimes active. “It appears that this is deemed a risk too far by HSBC, but we continue to be trusted to deliver aid in such places by governments and by other financial institutions.”