"..... Using just a single source such as this list to disable accounts would be negligence." I suspect the HSBC staff that made the decisions were caught between two conflicting directives. The first was probably to cut costs, hence the possible reliance on a single source. The second was to avoid any potential problem with the US authorities. Even just being named as providing banking to a suspected terrorist is not only bad for business in the US, but can bring you into the cross-hairs of the any number of Congressional committees looking to score votes as "tough on terror" by hammering a foreign bank. That is the "risk" mentioned in the article. Having said that, IIRC, it is part of the standard boilerplate with UK accounts that a bank can withdraw services from any customer at their own discretion, and there is pretty-much sweet FA a customer can do about it.