24 April 2023

HSBC UK and Shelter launch new Flagship partnership

Today, HSBC UK and housing and homelessness charity Shelter announced a new multi-year partnership to support the financial health of people and communities during the cost of living crisis and help break the vicious circle of homelessness.

Media enquiries to:

Neil Fleming, HSBC UK
0738 479 2051

Shelter Media Team
0344 515 2162

Record high rents and a lack of genuinely affordable social homes means millions of people are struggling to cope with rising living costs. At least 271,000 people in England were homeless at the end of 2022, and more people are at risk of losing their home in the cost of living crisis.1

One person every minute accesses Shelter’s cost of living crisis web advice; while 70% of callers to Shelter’s emergency helpline say the cost of living crisis is making their housing situation worse.2, 3

The partnership builds on the work of HSBC UK’s industry-leading ‘No Fixed Address’ service which has helped over 4,600 people without a fixed home address to open a bank account and rebuild their lives after experiencing homelessness.

With HSBC UK’s additional support, Shelter will be able to help over a million people at risk of losing their home during the cost-of-living crisis, and build financial resilience in local communities to help prevent homelessness. The partnership will:

Boost Shelter’s emergency helpline and webchat support

On average, more than 1000 calls a day are made to Shelter’s emergency helpline, and the cost of living crisis is making housing issues worse for many.3 The partnership will enable Shelter’s helpline advisers to provide expert housing advice to 40,000 more people who are at risk of losing their homes and help signpost them to further financial support from specialist services.

Reach people with early digital housing and financial advice

8 in 10 callers to Shelter’s emergency helpline are already homeless or at imminent risk of it. Shelter wants to reach more people before they reach this point to help them understand their rights and access vital support to prevent homelessness. Through the partnership, Shelter will work with people with lived experience to develop digital guidance and tools to build people’s financial resilience, reaching one million people who are struggling to afford their home.

Train volunteers to deliver financial resilience advice in local communities

In collaboration with the Financial Wellbeing Team at HSBC UK, Shelter will train over 1,250 volunteers from the financial services industry to deliver resilience training and signpost people to housing advice. This will help build financial resilience in local communities, reaching people where they are in community spaces, such a food banks and debt advice centres.

Expanding outreach and support to reach marginalised groups

Local pilot projects, initially in Birmingham and Blackburn, Lancashire, will target intervention in communities, reaching over 3,000 people who are at higher risk of homelessness, such as single-parent families, marginalised people and people with complex needs. Working together with people with lived experience and other charities, Shelter will co-produce the support programme to improve access to support, build financial resilience and challenge discrimination within the housing system.

HSBC UK and Shelter launch new partnership

Ian Stuart, CEO, HSBC UK said: “Our No Fixed Address service has been an important tool in breaking the vicious circle of homelessness, helping people access the financial services they need. But we know that if we’re to make an even bigger impact people need access to support before they get into severe issues with paying their rent or mortgage.

“Early intervention is critical; the faster we can be alerted to an issue the more can be done to help. Among our own customers we’ve seen this approach work, with 20% uplift in customers bringing their accounts back up to date in key areas such as mortgages when we work with them early enough.

“I’m really proud to launch this key partnership between HSBC UK and Shelter. Together, we will help more people access guidance and meaningful support – building greater resilience for some of the UK’s most vulnerable people, and better financial health for the UK.”

Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Shelter said: “Access to a safe and secure home means everything. It’s as vital as education or healthcare. But right now, a lack of genuinely affordable social homes, rapidly rising rents and ballooning bills is leaving hundreds of thousands of people at risk of homelessness. Every day our frontline services hear from people who are really struggling and don’t know how they’re going to pay their rent or put food on their table.

“Together with HSBC UK, we’ve already helped thousands of individuals experiencing homelessness to access a bank account and rebuild their lives through our Breaking the Cycle programme. But our ambition is to do more to stop people from becoming homeless in the first place. That’s why we’re thrilled to be deepening our partnership with HSBC UK so that we can reach more people at risk of losing their homes, and work with communities before they reach crisis point.”

Shelter’s charity partners Shelter Cymru and Housing Rights will ensure people and communities in Wales and Northern Ireland are also supported with their financial health and housing issues through the partnership.

Notes to editors

  1. The total number of people (271,421) who were recorded as homeless in England in 2022 are taken from Shelter’s analysis of government homelessness and rough sleeping statistics. For more details and methodology, see Shelter, Homelessness in England 2022, published January 2023
  2. Between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023, there were nearly half a million (453,613) unique page views of Shelter’s cost of living digital advice pages. This covers topics such as rent rises, debt advice, accessing emergency grants, loans or welfare support and help with housing costs and other bills. This equates to one person accessing Shelter’s cost of living web advice every 1 minute 16 seconds
  3. Figures relate to data collected by Shelter’s national emergency helpline in England, between 1 August 2022 and 31 October 2022. For more details and methodology, see Shelter, published November 2022

About Financial Health

A lack of financial resilience can magnify the impact of an initial income shock, leading to significantly more serious consequences:

  • One in six UK adults have no savings (Source: Money and Pensions Service)
  • One in five (12 million people) now borrowing to pay for food and other essential bills, with half doing so for the first time (Source: Money and Pensions Service)
  • 17% of people are borrowing to meet the cost of their rent or mortgage, of which 52% for the first time (Source: Money and Pensions Service)

About the National Housing Emergency

Poor financial health is a consequence of our nation’s housing emergency, and rising housing and living costs are pushing more people to the brink of homelessness:

  • At least 271,000 people were homeless in England at the end of 2022 (Source: Shelter, 2023)
  • 70% of callers to its emergency helpline say the cost of living crisis is making their housing situation worse (Source: Shelter, 2022)
  • A third of private renters rely on housing benefit to cover rent but it has been frozen since 2020 despite rents reaching record highs (Source: Shelter, 2023)


HSBC UK serves over 14.75 million customers across the UK, supported by 24,000 colleagues. HSBC UK offers a complete range of retail banking and wealth management to personal and private banking customers, as well as commercial banking for small to medium businesses and large corporates.

HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of HSBC, is headquartered in London. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 62 countries and territories in its geographical regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,967bn at 31 December 2022, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

About Shelter

Shelter exists to defend the right to a safe home and fight the devastating impact the housing emergency has on people and society. Shelter believes that home is everything. Learn more at www.shelter.org.uk.