HSBC Share Price: Raising Fees for Small Firms

on Aug 30, 2013
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iNVEZZ.com, Friday, August 30: HSBC Holdings Plc (LON:HSBA) has confirmed its plans to raise fees for some 700,000 small businesses. Starting Sunday, September 1, monthly account maintenance fee would increase 50p to £5.50. The changes would also affect customers enjoying “free banking”.

In today’s trading HSBC shares were 0.68 percent lower at 682.60p as of 11:45 BST.
**“Clearer, more transparent pricing”**
According to HSBC, the increase is part of a move towards “clearer, more transparent pricing”. A spokesman for the bank has said that start-ups using free banking for the first 18 months would also face the new fees after the expiration of that period. He said, though, that the UK’s biggest bank remained “committed to the UK SME market”. Some customers would see a reduction of their charges, the bank said.

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The spokesman added that the bank continued to offer “a quality and competitively priced banking option” for small businesses and was approving four in five lending requests submitted by those customers.

The Times quoted a spokesman for the British Chambers of Commerce, as commenting last night that the organisation would be against anything that “hinders, harms or even prevents viable businesses from obtaining credit.”
**Free banking**
!m[Bank Says It Remains ‘Committed to UK’s SME Market’](/uploads/story/5212/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)
Last year, the issue of free banking raised a lot of controversy. Santander announced plans to impose a monthly fee of £7.50 to £12.50 on some 230,000 small businesses, although it had previously marketed the accounts as “free banking forever”. It later backed off from those plans, facing anger from many customers.

Free banking has become markedly less profitable for banks since the Bank of England cut interest rates to their current historically low level of 0.5% in March 2009.
**As of 13:25 BST buy HSBC shares at 682.60 pence.**
**As of 13:25 BST sell HSBC shares at 682.30 pence.**

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