The unbanked population globally is much bigger than most people expect. HSBC Acknowledges something needs to be done in this regard. To make a positive impact, the institution now provides bank accounts to homeless people.
Banking the Unbanked
In the Western world, having a bank account is as normal as taking a drink from the fridge. Everyone seems to have one, and most people interact with their bank account every single day. Whether it is through a physical branch office, the web, or a mobile application, most people in the Western world can’t do much without a banking account.
Despite these aspects, there are plenty of homeless people, even on this part of the globe. Very few people even contemplate how those people obtain or store money, as most of them don’t have a bank account [anymore]. It is very difficult to gain access to such financial services without a physical residence, or the proper documents required by financial institutions.
HSBC has a Bold Plan
It is very uncommon for banks to cater to homeless individuals. HSBC Is trying to tap into this market, at least in the United Kingdom. With the help of local charities, the bank will let homeless people set up a bank account. It does not require a fixed address or photo ID to do so.
With over 300,000 homeless people in the UK, financial exclusion is a problem that needs to be addressed. HSBC’s new service will require interested parties to register with one of the participating charities. A caseworker will be assigned to accompany the individual to an HSBC branch.
Instead of filling in the person’s address, the account is “linked” to the charity’s address. This will provide access to basic banking functionality, as well as a debit card. Those who can, will have access to their bank details online or over the phone.
This move doesn’t come as a complete surprise. Challenger banks and neobanks in the UK offer a “no fixed address” service for quite some time now. As such, it appears that HSBC wants to stay somewhat relevant in this discussion. How successful this venture will turn out to be, is a question that can’t be answered as of yet.