For an estimated 320,000 people that are facing homelessness in the UK, having a bank account enables them to receive wages, benefits, and pay rent which will open a gateway for them to progress further in life.
HSBC has collaborations with organisations like Crisis and Shelter to provide a simple bank account to homeless people, removing the need for photo identification or evidence of an address.
In Liverpool, the service began in 2018. It proved to be a positive outcome which leads to 31 branches making the service live in the United Kingdom. Over 80 accounts have been opened during this time and one of the accounts was set up for a man in Liverpool who had been homeless for 12 years. For this man, it meant that he can finally claim benefits and he is now also on the housing list.
Shelter is delighted to be working with HSBC UK on this significant product. The idea that you have a bank account will not only allow people who are homeless to collect salaries and claim benefits, but it also will grant them freedom. For people who are homeless, to be able to use the “no fixed address programme”, they will be required to register with charities, such as Shelter or Crisis. A caseworker will then accompany them to one of the participating branches to set up their account.
To be able to receive bank statements and a debit card, these application forms will include the charity’s address. They can also access their account online or over the phone. Bank statements and other relevant documents can be collected from a selected branch of HSBC or the charity’s office.
Monzo, the digital bank, enables those with non-fixed addresses to open an account. The mobile-only bank accepts addresses from friends, families, and shelters as part of its “No Barriers to Banking” programme. Last year, Lloyds bank collaborated with Manchester’s local homeless groups and provided a bank account of “no fixed addresses”. As this has progressed, the services in Edinburgh, London and Cardiff will now be extended to new branches.
About Stuart Mosley
Stuart Mosley (CeFA, CeMap, CLTM) founded SJ Financial Solutions in June 2005 having spent 12 years with big corporates such as Halifax and Santander. He felt the personal touch and straight speaking was missing from financial and mortgage advice services and set up SJ Financial Solutions to change this.
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