HSBC cancels basic banking fees in Hong Kong

HSBC is eliminating 26 types of fees and charges on basic banking services in a bid to make them more accessible to the public. The move, which takes effect from November 1, is expected to benefit more than 4 million personal customers in Hong Kong.

The fee cancellation covers a broad range of services, including deposit and withdrawal of foreign currency notes, request for banker’s reports and documents, passbook replacement, HSBC Global Transfers, and remittances.

The banking giant said in a statement that the move is intended to enhance financial inclusion and help customers who have been hit hard by the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.

HSBC is also launching a new integrated account, HSBC One, which aims to bring a better, easier and innovative one-stop smart banking solution to meet the diverse and rapidly changing needs of customers. With no minimum balance requirement, HSBC One will provide a comprehensive variety of services and solutions, from transaction banking to enhanced digital facilities, and from travel services to wealth management.

Last year, HSBC became the first bank in Hong Kong to remove minimum balance requirements and below balance fees for personal integrated account customers, benefiting more than 3 million personal customers. The annual and monthly fees and counter transaction fees for a range of personal savings accounts were also removed. The bank has also launched banking services for people with dementia or diminished mental capacity, as well as Hong Kong residents without fixed abode.

Brian Hui, HSBC head of customer propositions and marketing, wealth and personal banking, Hong Kong, comments: “This is the future of banking: low-cost, high-quality services that are accessible by our customers. We particularly hope HSBC One will address specific issues faced by younger customers, many of whom lack the confidence in their ability to choose the right banking solutions for their needs.”

The latest moves came after the bank reported a 65% plunge in pre-tax profits for the first six months of 2020 to US$4.32 billion, as loan provisions grew amid the pandemic. Earlier in the year, its move to cancel the dividend it had already declared for shareholders drew criticism from retail investors in Hong Kong, while its share price has been on a declining trend since February.

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