HSBC Splurges £10,000s On Gay Marriage Ads But Drops Free Charity Accounts

Jan 26, 2022

HSBC has splashed tens of thousands of pounds on adverts supporting same-sex marriage, while ending free banking for community groups.

In May last year, the banking corporation sent out a letter saying its policy of giving free accounts to all non-profit community groups with incomes of less than £100,000 was ending. With 80% of the UK’s 163,000 voluntary groups potentially affected, any that bank with HSBC will have been moved to a £5-a-month charity account. They are now treated the same as non-profit organisations that have a turnover of up to £2 million. Additional charges include handing over 40p to pay in a cheque and a fee of 0.4 per cent on cash deposits.

A number of groups have complained that, on top of the challenges they face from the pandemic, this leaves their future in doubt.

Yet despite ending this service to community groups – hugely valuable to them, small change for HSBC – the corporation has money to spare promoting fashionable causes that have nothing to do with banking.

“Loves knows no borders” is its latest campaign, and features two women kissing on their wedding day while holding a baby. As well as taking out full page adverts in the Times, the bank boasts it is also a major sponsor of Birmingham Pride.

Community groups now facing closure because of HSBC’s charges may wonder where the love without borders is for them.

HSBC should get its priorities straight. People don’t need a bank which charges them in order to promote causes they don’t agree with. They need one which looks after their money without sending them under.