British-based bank HSBC wants to wish its customers a Merry Christmas, but also reminds them that their homes could be repossessed if they do not pay their mortgages.
Check out the message, tweeted by Guardian editor James Ball:
Merry Christmas! Pay us or we'll take your home! pic.twitter.com/g0a9uxGt3Z— James Ball (@jamesrbuk) December 10, 2014
The sign reads: “Christmas. Home made. Thanks to over 100,000 of you who trusted us with your mortgages this year.” Under that, a gloomy message reads: “Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments of your mortgage.”
The ominous line came under scrutiny in the U.K., but HSBC’s holiday sign is mandated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
"Although we realize it doesn't look very festive, it is a legal requirement to have these words on all our U.K. mortgage adverts, and for them to be easily noticeable," Neil Brazil, an HSBC spokesman, tells The Huffington Post.
A similar disclosure is required of all U.S. lenders and mortgage-assistance services: "If you stop paying your mortgage, you could lose your home and damage your credit rating.”
As Consumerist.com notes, HSBC wants to remind consumers that the holidays is the time to be thankful. Pay the bank or get your home taken away.