After HSBC Holdings PLC announced that it will close unprofitable accounts of some of its small business clients, Envision Financial said it is already seeing some of the bank’s customers looking to fill in the gap.
A division of the $7.1 billion First West Credit Union in Langley, British Columbia, Envision Financial said HSBC clients have been coming to the credit union’s branches with letters quoting HSBC stating they have 60 days to find alternate banking arrangements before their business accounts are closed and their checks presented for payment are returned.
In September, the $272 billion HSBC based in London, with 6,600 branches in 80 countries including in North America, Europe and Hong Kong, said after a strategic review, it would start closing some of its business accounts by Nov. 8, the Wall Street Journal and other publications reported.
Several media outlets reported that HSBC had determined that some of the business accounts either carried too small balances or did not carry out enough transactions. Credit Union Times contacted HSBC for confirmation but has not yet heard back.
Meanwhile, Envision Financial said HSBC’s account closures has led to the credit union ramping up its promotion of its business accounts including an incentive to switch financial institutions that offers members three months of free access to a checking account that provides unlimited access for $20 a month.
Small businesses are the backbone of communities in British Columbia and nationwide making up 98% of all businesses in Canada, said Envision Financial President Shelley Besse.
“They play a pivotal role in driving our economy and with all the competing demands weighing down on small business owners at this time of year, we want to make it simple for them to find a financial institution that can meet their needs,” Besse said.
“Credit unions like Envision Financial have been serving the small business market for decades and we have a long and proud history of helping it succeed,” Besse said. “We understand their importance in our local communities and we're committed to providing them with the advice, service and products needed to help them grow and succeed.”