20 April 2020

Responding to Coronavirus:
a message from
HSBC UK’s Chief Executive

Ian Stuart explains how HSBC UK is working to support and keep safe its customers, colleagues and the broader communities it serves across the UK.

Coronavirus does not care about who you work for, your status or what you do. It attacks all of us as people.

We are facing unprecedented levels of demand for help from those facing hardships and upheaval, and so we are transforming the way we help people at HSBC UK. Being as fast as possible but as caring and understanding as we can.

Keeping people safe

To help stop the spread of coronavirus and in line with public health advice, we’ve adapted operations to ensure that they remain safe for customers and colleagues.

Most of our colleagues in the UK are now working from home, supporting our brilliant branch staff as they keep as many branches open as possible to serve our customers.

These are just some of the shifts in how we operate, and we’re continuing to look at new ways to help people when they need us the most.

Standing by our customers

We understand the very important role we play in helping Britain’s people and its businesses navigate through this crisis.

We have introduced a range of measures to support personal banking customers, including increasing our temporary interest-free overdraft buffer, as well as payment holiday options for mortgages, personal loans and credit cards.

We’ve also taken steps to support key workers and vulnerable customers. In addition to a priority customer service phone line, our branch teams have proactively reached out to more than 300,000 customers who they have identified as at-risk from reduced access to their banking because they’re not signed up to other channels.

For businesses, we’ve introduced support measures including £8bn to support companies impacted by Covid-19, waiving our £100 arrangement fee for Small Business Loans, repayment holidays and pre-approved 60-day extensions on trade loans.

We have a dedicated phone line for Covid-19 support for businesses and were one of the first banks to launch an online portal for customer applications for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

We’re also offering additional support such as preferential pricing and fast-tracking applications to companies involved in the supply and manufacture of key equipment.

Supporting the broader communities we serve

HSBC UK has donated £1 million to the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal and British Red Cross to help support vulnerable people impacted by Covid-19 in the UK as part of USD25 million HSBC is donating globally.

And we’re offering our support in other ways as well. We’ve donated our TV advertising slots to Shelter to support their appeal for the homeless, donated food from UK offices that have temporarily closed to food banks and local charities, and each Thursday we’re lighting up our main offices in Birmingham and Sheffield in blue to show support for our NHS as the nation claps for carers.

We know there is more to do

We’re continuing to work hard to get money to viable companies to see them through the coming months and to give people financial support.

We know, however, that our customers are under a huge amount of financial pressure and stress right now, and their experience of getting through to us to access funding can on occasion be frustratingly slower and more difficult than we would like it to be.

Please be reassured that we are doing everything we can to help you more quickly, while also ensuring the health and safety of our colleagues.

Thank you for your continued patience and support, and please keep safe.