3 April 2020

HSBC UK announces increase to existing overdraft buffer to £500 to help customers affected by COVID-19

Further to introducing payment holiday options on mortgages, personal loans and credit cards, with an online application for credit cards going live tomorrow, HSBC UK is providing additional support to millions of overdraft customers as they tackle the financial impact of Covid-19, the bank announced today.

From 9th April, for a three month period, HSBC UK will increase the temporary interest-free buffer for millions of Bank Account and Advance Account overdraft customers from £300 to £500. This additional increase is twenty times the original £25 buffer on these accounts, but should only be used if it is necessary.

HSBC UK is also temporarily reducing the interest rate charged over the interest-free buffer on all these accounts from 39.9% to a rate of 19.9%, which was the rate set for the majority of its customer base before the introduction of the bank’s new simplified overdraft structure (2-page PDF 395KB), which recently came into effect.

These changes are in addition to the different options provided in the bank’s package of support for personal customers in financial difficulty, including:

  • A 3 month mortgage payment holiday.
  • Support for customers with unsecured debt through payment holidays, reduced payments or breathing space to defer payments due; these solutions are tailored to individual customer need.
  • option of a temporary increase in credit card and overdraft limits.
  • Giving customers early access to fixed rate savings accounts without closure charges.In addition, we will be suspending all late credit card payment fees for a period of 3 months. If a customer is late making a payment, they do not need to take any action as the fee will be waived automatically.

Tracie Pearce, HSBC UK’s Director of Retail Banking, said: “The package of support that we have developed and introduced will provide some cashflow support at this crucial time and help people tackle some of the short-term financial impacts of Covid-19. The intention is to provide support to customers pending receipt of government aid such as universal credit; furloughed employees and self-employed relief.

“We are rightly conscious of our physical health with regard to social distancing, washing our hands and staying at home as much as possible, but we should also take this opportunity to look at our financial well-being to make sure that is as fighting-fit as possible. There may be direct debits or subscriptions that are no longer needed, old cheques that you haven’t deposited that you can process using your phone, or general expenses that you can cut out to trim your costs and reduce the impact of these unprecedented events.”

To allow us to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, we ask that wherever possible customers consider managing their interaction with HSBC through our online or mobile channels. If they have questions relating to the support we’re providing, or indeed find themselves in difficulty, we advise to please first visit our dedicated coronavirus hub, which is regularly updated with frequently asked questions and supporting information.

We will continue to keep our support measures under review and believe they are in keeping with the guidance recently issued for consultation by the FCA.

Media enquiries to:

Steve Gracey – steve.gracey@hsbc.com / 020 7991 4118

Email: UKPressOffice@hsbc.co.uk

For the latest news and updates, visit the HSBC UK newsroom:


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$2,715bn at 31 December 2019, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.