HSBC Cuts Services For E-Cig Companies

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As surprising as it may be, some credit card processors don’t just provide services to anyone.   They like to avoid being held accountable for purchases that are found to be or ultimately become illegal.  Turns out British banking giant HSBC has decided to exercise its right to refuse service to electronic cigarette companies.

HSBC recently withdrew its merchant services (meaning primarily credit card payment processing) from electronic cigarette company SnG Vapor.   The sudden change in policy has left SnG in the lurch, unable to process purchases until they can get a new account in place.  HSBC hardly bothered to inform SnG owner Steve Johnson of the decision.

Johnson received an email citing 5 rather vague reasons for the change.   He shared the email here.  The reasons were flimsy at best, but that didn’t stop some from speculating that media sensationalism (including our own article) might have caused the change in policy.  More than likely, this decision moved through an elaborate process of legalese before it was handed down.  These may be HSBC’s excuses for the policy, but that doesn’t mean they’re HSBC’s reasons for it.

At the time of this post, HSBC had not responded to info requested about the decision.  We’ll let you know if we find out more.

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  1. imtheboss says

    nice article

  2. Zane says


  3. RCO67 says

    Seems getting merchant services for ecig vendors is a common problem.

  4. Morrinb says

    Very common problem it seems. I’ve had trouble purchasing from a couple different vendors at different times over this same problem.

  5. chuckss says

    Wow, thats just crazy.

  6. season 3 walking dead says

    Yep. I posted something similar earlier in this thread. Jason has quite the reputation as a player, so I was surprised to see him in a relationship with someone who has a child in the first place. I’m willing to bet she was ready to settle down and he wasn’t.

  7. saboinia says

    that aint right for them 2 do that

  8. mrcrunch08 says

    Things like this blow my mind and the lack of courtesy is absurd. God forbid you provide a money transfer service for a company that provides smokers a safer alternative.

  9. mongrel says

    What a shame, I know at least one other vendor who went through a similar problem, and was shut down temporarily until he was able to find a new company to process his orders.

  10. Holly DeLain says

    Pretty sad that they can’t at least give these companies a bit of warning! Truly… what are they supposed to do if on line is the most of their business!?

  11. slap_maxwell says

    HSBC is a scumbag outfit anyway; I had the unfortunate circumstance of using them for banking services when I lived in London, and couldn’t change institutions fast enough. I’m not at all surprised at their weaselish stance, sadly.

  12. Chad says

    dumb dumb dumb

  13. Todd says

    Ouch. If one does it… who’s to say others won;t jump on that bandwagon. Scary stuff especially with no warning.

  14. flux83 says

    AH I didnt like them anyways glad capital one is buying their credit cards up.

  15. Karla Lyle (MsV8PR) says

    I just don’t get it. Why is everyone so against ecigs? They have the potential to save so many lives. People should be supporting ecigs just the same as nic gum. They sell that everywhere. Walmart, gas stations, teh grocery store. What is the big deal or difference with ecigs. It is just so frustrating.

  16. John "Shub" Fellhoelter says

    Everybody seems to have their own business qualms with the industry and does their own thing to boycott it. It’s their own problem, as business will just go elsewhere.
    Their loss

  17. Zane says


  18. brianwilson says

    that is stupid

  19. DemonFire says

    Wow how shady.

  20. Tyler says


  21. Philippe Caron-Boutin says


  22. Courtney C says

    This is just crazy!

  23. crystalT64 says


  24. Danielle says

    Wow.. what jerks. No kind of warning or anything? Way to do business, HSBC.

  25. Ralph says

    reminds me of when i was a smoker and i had a bunch of idiots with misinformation protesting against smokers, really pissed me off, who the heck is lobbying so hard against us this time?

  26. ManuDawg says

    This is hardly a surprise. Awhile back there was one Vendor who was shut down for at least a couple months when their credit card processing company cut them off.

  27. Aaron says

    I hate HSBC

  28. Rob says

    When I worked in London I had dealings with a credit controller, who told me that HSBC were the bank of choice for drug dealers, money launderers and eastern european mafia, because they had less checks and scruples!
    Might just be gossip, but no smoke without fire, unless of course you vape!

  29. Dale Van Droof says

    I think the big tobacco companies are paying them to not accept ecig related customers. Just my humble opinion.

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