You are here: Home - Saving & Banking - News -

HSBC expands bank account service to help the homeless

0
Written by: Emma Lunn
09/03/2021
People without a fixed home address can now open bank accounts with HSBC in more than 100 branches across the UK.

HSBC launched its No Fixed Address service in December 2019 in 31 branches.

Working with national homelessness charities Shelter and Crisis, as well as local organisations and councils, it aims to provide individuals with access to a basic bank account without the need for photo ID or proof of address.

So far, the bank has opened 700 accounts under its No Fixed Address service, with more than half of these openings taking place during the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest government snapshot figures show 2,668 people were recorded as street homeless in England on a given night in the autumn of 2020. Although, this snapshot has fallen in the past year, it is still 52% higher than in 2010 when data first started being collected.

But according to Shelter, more than 253,000 people in England have been recorded as homeless and living in temporary accommodation during the pandemic. This is the highest figure for 14 years, and there will be many more people who are sofa-surfing or not captured by official statistics.

Having a bank account can make it easier to claim benefits, receive wages and pay rent.

Traditionally, banks require photo identification such as a passport or driving licence as well as proof of address, which could be a council tax or energy bill, to open an account. But these are documents which many people experiencing homelessness may not have or find difficult to keep safe.

At participating HSBC UK branches, individuals without a fixed address can open a bank account when accompanied by a caseworker and using the address of the charity supporting them.

Maxine Pritchard, head of financial inclusion and vulnerability at HSBC UK, said: “No one in today’s society should be without a bank account, but if you don’t have a fixed address it can be very difficult to get one. HSBC is changing this and with every branch that offers the service we have the opportunity to make a difference to more people’s lives.

“I am incredibly proud that we can play our part in helping some of society’s most marginalised and vulnerable people access the services necessary to help break the cycle of homelessness and become financially independent.”

Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter, said: “The cruel impact of the Covid crisis has tipped thousands of people into homelessness and left many with no option but to sleep rough. It’s hard enough battling the elements and surviving the daily dangers of the streets. If you are then cut off from receiving financial support or have no way to get your wages paid, it can be even harder to break free of the clutches of homelessness.

“HSBC’s determination to extend the No Fixed Address service to even more branches across the country, despite the challenges of the pandemic, is fantastic and so important. It means even more people can take a key step towards financial independence that will hopefully help them to re-build their lives.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Flight cancelled or delayed? Your rights explained

With no sign of the problems in UK aviation easing over the peak summer period, many will worry whether holida...

Rail strikes: Your travel and refund rights

Thousands of railway workers will strike across three days this week, grinding much of the transport system to...

How your monthly bills could rise as the base rate reaches 1.25%

The Bank of England has raised the base rate to 1.25% as predicted – the fifth consecutive rise in just six ...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week