HSBC has told its UK customers that failure to wear a mask at any of their branches could lead to the closure of their bank accounts.

Customers without masks will not only be refused service by HSBC, but could also have their bank accounts terminated by the biggest bank in the UK.

Head of Branch Network for HSBC Jackie Uhi has confirmed that the bank withholds the right to “withdraw” the account of people who “put themselves or our colleagues at risk” by not wearing a mask.

“Our branch colleagues are key workers, continuing to go to work in our branches every day so that customers who need them can access essential financial services,” Uhi told the Daily Mirror.

“Sadly, some people are failing to protect themselves, our branch colleagues and other customers by refusing to wear a face covering inside our branches or observe social distancing.

“If you do visit us, please wear a face covering and maintain a safe distance from others. If individuals put themselves or our colleagues at risk, without a medical exemption, we reserve the right to withdraw their account,” he added.

Uhi said HSBC staff deserved respect and that customers were not entitled to become abusive or violent towards them.

“Our colleagues deserve respect and should not have to face violent or abusive behaviour. Consider whether you need to visit the branch or could manage your banking from the safety of your home via our digital channels,” he suggested.

The announcement comes as the UK experienced its deadliest day of the pandemic so far, with 1,564 people losing their lives and another 47,525 testing positive yesterday.

The three deadliest days of the pandemic have all been recorded in 2021, with the UK’s Department of Health show the daily death toll has risen by 50% each week.

Boris Johnson has refused to rule out tightening the country’s lockdown rules despite indications that the current measures are reducing the reproduction rate of the virus.

In total, 83,203 people have died with Covid-19 in the UK, as most supermarket chains begin turning away customers who refuse to wear a mask.