HSBC turning away social networks and mobile startups?

That’s the claim made by serial web entrepreneur Paul Walsh in two video blogs* posted on his site over the last couple of days.Paul reports that when he tried to open a HSBC business account for a new venture he was told by three members of the bank’s staff that they were “unable to open an account for any business that has anything to do with social networking or companies within the mobile industry”.Now banks generally get a hard press and the motive behind individual attacks should usually be treated with a high degree of scepticism.However, Paul’s motivation isn’t just to have a dig at a bank that’s turned him down. Let’s remember he was only trying to open an account, not secure a loan or any other form of finance: he didn’t get that far!He’s also an experienced internet entrepreneur who as well as running his own company Segala, chairs the British Interactive Media Group and is co organiser of web 2.0 networking night Top Cats. He was an advisor for the recent Web Mission trip that saw 20 UK entrepreneurs visit Silicon Valley in a trip sponsored by, you guessed it, HSBC.Paul’s not taking a free shot at an easy target, he’s asking, on behalf of the industry, why a bank that invests in supporting emerging web and mobile businesses seemingly doesn’t want them as customers.He'd be interested to know why, and so would we.*After Paul's first blog (below), he gave a fuller account here.

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