With branch access severely restricted and face-to-face mortgage appointments in branch not currently possible, HSBC UK has expanded its use of video appointments to help those looking to either re-mortgage with the bank, or go ahead with an application to purchase a new property.
Michelle Andrews, HSBC UK’s Head of Buying A Home, said: “Covid-19 has led to a monumental change in our lives, pretty much overnight. While it was put in place for very good reason, the restriction on the movement of people has had intended and unintended consequences for many, with the property sector one being of those greatly affected. House viewings couldn’t go ahead, physical property valuations were impossible, and those looking to move home had difficulty getting access to face-to-face mortgage advice to push a purchase forward.
“HSBC UK was one of the first providers to offer mortgage appointments by video, with that technology only accessed through appontments in our branches. That change meant that customers had greater access to mortgage advice with more appointments available and more flexibility with appointment times, and customers wouldn’t be hamstrung by the availability of mortgage advisers being physically available in a local branch.
“We have learnt from our experience in providing virtual mortgage appointments in our branch. The introduction of Zoom mortgage appointments is taking this one step further and providing a solution to help with the current situation. This will help us work together with our customers, and help us continue to support them at this difficult time. For some it will mean they are able to buy their first property, for others it will mean being able to upsize with a growing family or having decided to live with extended family or elderly relatives.”
While HSBC UK has been able to keep almost all of its branches open consistently over the course of the last 3 months, social distancing measures and limited opening hours mean branches have not been able to make face-to-face appointments for mortgage advice.
Michelle Andrews continued: “Our mortgage advisers have been extremely flexible during this unusual time, using their expertise to progress internal projects, dealing with customer queries or helping out other areas within the bank, all whilst working from home. I am extremely grateful for their hard work and professionalism. And now, by introducing mortgage appointments by Zoom, they are able to get back to the job they love – helping people with their home-ownership goals.
“We are able to satisfy all of our regulatory requirements to provide bespoke advice remotely. All videos will have the audio recorded and we are using software most people are using at home themselves and are familiar with. We believe this gets you as close to a face-to-face meeting as possible, without being in the same room.”
Additionally, while HSBC UK is helping customers get face-to-face mortgage advice without the need to visit a branch, it has also made changes to make it easier for contractors to get a mortgage with the bank. Requirements for continuous service have been halved from two years to one year, bringing it into line with the bank’s policy for self-employed customers. Applicants would also need to provide their latest P60 and have at least 6 months remaining on their current contract of employment.
For the latest news and updates, visit the HSBC UK newsroom: https://www.about.hsbc.co.uk/news-and-media
Notes To Editors
Once a customer has completed a Decision in Principle either on-line or over the phone and decide to progress their Mortgage application, they will be able to book an appointment.
The customer will be offered a choice of a telephone appointment or a Zoom appointment using Zoom video conferencing. They would be sent a link to click on and the Zoom meeting would start at the pre-agreed time.
HSBC UK serves around 14.5 million customers across the UK, supported by 32,000 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
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 64 countries and territories in our geographical regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,918bn at 31 March 2020, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.