HSBC has denied it is behind a financial clampdown blamed for increasing travel businesses’ credit costs.


An HSBC spokesman denied claims by agents the bank was behind an industry-wide review blamed for forcing travel companies to provide thousands of extra pounds as security following recent travel company failures.


While he admitted the bank has asked certain companies perceived to be at risk to provide extra money following individual reviews, he said: “From the bank’s point of view there is no such policy in place.”


Instead, he said additional costs could be being imposed by card facility provider HSBC Merchant Services LLP (HMS), which had a 49% stake owned by HSBC until it was sold in June to credit-card payment company Global Payments.


HMS is the company liable for refunding cash made on credit-card bookings in event of a travel business failing.


An HMS spokeswoman was unable to comment.