HSBC: Supporting the homeless in the UK

By Amber Donovan-Stevens
It has been announced this week that HSBC is now providing bank accounts to individuals without a fixed address in the UK. FinTech finds out more. HSBC...

It has been announced this week that HSBC is now providing bank accounts to individuals without a fixed address in the UK. FinTech finds out more. 

HSBC has announced this week that it has teamed with Shelter and Crisis in order to offer homeless people a basic bank account without  the usual banking requirements. To create a standard account, customers normally require photo ID and proof of address in order to proceed with creating the account, however, HSBC has made exceptions for those without permanent addresses in order to support them in finding stability and support.

There are over 320,000 homeless people across the UK alone currently, according to Shelter, and through its partnership with HSBC, both Shelter and Crisis can act as points of address for these people, giving them access to wages, benefits and loans.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive at Crisis said: “It can be almost impossible to get a bank account without a fixed address and without ID, which often can be hard to keep safe and costly to replace if lost or stolen.

“A bank account can be a vehicle to help lift someone out of homeless, providing a way to receive payments, such as a salary or benefits. We’re pleased to see HSBC UK making it easier to get a bank account without having a fixed address, and we hope that this encourages all other banks to follow suit.”

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Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “It’s hard enough if you’re homeless, living day-to-day on the streets in the freezing cold or trapped with your children in a grotty hostel, but not having a bank account can make life even tougher.

“That’s why Shelter is pleased to be working with HSBC UK on this game–changing service. Having a bank account not only allows homeless people to receive wages and claim benefits but can instil a much-needed sense of independence.”

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