Banking giant HSBC has told its customers in the UK that if they refuse to wear face masks when entering a branch, they could have their accounts terminated.

Jackie Uhi, head of branch network, HSBC UK, told the Daily Mirror that those who fail to comply will not only be refused service but have their relationship with the bank severed permanently.

“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,” said Uhi.

“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,” she added.

The announcement was made shortly after several supermarkets said they would refuse entry to customers not wearing a face covering. Other banks could also follow HSBC’s example by threatening customers with account termination.

Face coverings must be worn on public transport, in shops, supermarkets, banks, post offices, places of worship, museums, galleries, entertainment venues and libraries, although the only real enforcement appears to be on public transport where fined can be issued.

Despite already being under a national lockdown, Brits could be about to face even stricter restrictions, with government ministers denying speculation earlier this week that people could be only allowed to leave their house once per week.