LGBTQ+ people experiencing homelessness issues should find it easier to open a bank account due to an initiative from a provider.
HSBC UK has teamed up with Stonewall Housing as part of the bank’s initiative to make it easier for homeless people to access basic banking.
Having access to a bank account makes it easier for people to claim benefits, receive wages and pay rent.
Stonewall Housing has experienced a 55% increase in people calling its housing advice line during the coronavirus pandemic and a 48% increase in online contact.
It has signed up to HSBC UK’s no fixed address service, which enables people to open a basic bank account in branch when supported by a caseworker from the organisation who can verify their identity.
Banks usually require proof of address or photo ID when someone opens a bank account.
Stonewall Housing clients will be able to access the service at 14 HSBC UK branches across London, located in Belgravia, Bishopsgate, Clapham Junction, Croydon Northend, Enfield, Hounslow High Street, Lewisham, Notting Hill Gate, Palmers Green, Peckham, Putney, Stratford, Tooting Broadway and Walthamstow.
Since the no fixed address service launched in December 2019, HSBC UK has opened basic bank accounts for more than 1,000 people who are homeless.
A report recently published by Shelter found that 40% of gay or lesbian people in Britain and 49% of bisexual people do not have a safe or secure home, compared with 32% of heterosexual people.
Steven McIntyre, chief executive of Stonewall Housing, said: “What I love most about the no fixed address service is its simplicity. For so many years those without an address have been unable to get access to a bank account, something that is so readily available to others, and now HSBC UK have enabled them to do this with little or no fuss.”
Maxine Pritchard, head of financial inclusion and vulnerability at HSBC UK, said: “Through our work with Stonewall Housing we will be able to make a difference to the lives of homeless LGBTQ+ people in London and we are hoping to partner with other LGBTQ+ charities so we can help individuals across the UK.”
More information about the no fixed address service is at https://www.hsbc.co.uk/help/money-worries/no-fixed-address/