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HSBC pushes the poorer plebs to the far corners of the globe

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27/03/2007

HSBC, one of the biggest banks in the world, is diverting less affluent customers to foreign call centres while its more affluent, and hence more profitable, clients are dealt with in the UK.

The bank has admitted filtering calls from its 8.5 million customer base with UK current accounts and transferring them to overseas call centres after calculating factors like monthly income and credit rating.

Customers are then graded, with Premier account holders and business customers connected to call centres in the UK, while those with lower scores are put across to call centres in Malta, the Philippines, India and Malaysia.

An HSBC spokesperson said: “There is a scoring system. If you are identified as a UK current accounts customer with more complex needs, then you will be dealt with in the UK. As a general rule, these are the more affluent customers.”

But Eddy Weatherill, from the Independent Banking Advisory Service, said: “This smacks of a first-class, second-class system. If you are struggling to make ends meet you will be passed over to a second-class service.

“It is a fact that money drives the system. The opportunity to make more profit exists with those with more funds in their accounts.”

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