Watchdog warns HSBC over forcing clients to take out business current accounts to get loans
Over 200 HSBC clients were wrongly told they had to take out a business current account to get a loan, a watchdog says.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said HSBC broke banking rules over nine years by telling small firms it was a requirement.
The move – dubbed ‘bundling’ – affected 204 customers, relating to loans worth more than £800,000.
Warning: The CMA said HSBC broke banking rules over nine years by telling small firms it was a requirement to take out a business account to get a loan
HSBC reported itself to the CMA and ended the loans from last September. It has offered refunds of all the fees and charges.
The CMA has now imposed legally binding directions on HSBC ensuring it takes action to ensure the breaches do not happen again.
Adam Land, senior director at the CMA, said: ‘The rules are clear. Banks should not ask customers to open or retain business accounts in order to have a loan with them.
It is right that HSBC have offered refunds and we will monitor compliance with our directions closely.’