HSBC rolls out homeless service

Business | Stella Zhai 16 Jul 2020

Stella Zhai

The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation has launched a service that provides basic banking account services to SAR residents who have no fixed abode or live in subdivided flats without access to postal services.

To open an account, customers must first obtain a referral letter confirming their banking needs from one of five designated non-governmental organizations, including ImpactHK and Christian Concern for the Homeless Association, whose addresses will be used for correspondence with them.

Customers can take the letter and identity card to one of seven designated HSBC branches in the company of an NGO support worker, according to the bank.

Once approved, customers will receive an ATM card, a PIN number and can use the NGO's address to receive correspondence.

Said Christina Yung, senior community, diversity and financial vulnerability manager, wealth and personal banking of HSBC: "Being homeless doesn't necessarily mean being jobless or without need of banking services. In addition to protecting their money, a bank account can help them find a permanent job, since most employers don't want to pay salaries in cash."

In other news, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) has suspended operations at its City Garden Personal Banking Centre in North Point until further notice due to the pandemic.

Customers are urged to use mobile banking, internet banking or phone banking, or make an appointment in advance before visiting branches when necessary, said ICBC.

Dah Sing Bank (2356) has adjusted the hours of all its branches and will open from 9am to 4pm on weekdays and 9am to 1pm on Saturday. The suspension of quote terminals at the Securities Centres of its branches will be extended until further notice, it said.

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