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HSBC fined £6.2m by regulator for heavy-handed arrears treatment


Proactive Investors – HSBC (LON:HSBA) has landed a £6.2 million fine from the UK’s financial regulator, this time over its poor treatment of customers in arrears or experiencing financial problems.

Policies, procedures and staff training were all deficient said the FCA, leading to “disproportionate action” when people fell behind on payments.

Cases of unfair treatment were also dealt with inadequately, said the watchdog.

HSBC would have been fined £8.97 million but HSBC agreed to settle the case and has spent £94 million on training and correction as well as £185 million on compensation payments.

The fine relates to the period between June 2017 and October 2018, when the bank notified the regulator of the issues.

HSBC stated: “We’re sorry that between 2017 and 2018 some customers who fell into arrears did not receive the service they expected from us. We reported these issues to the FCA at the time and have fully remediated impacted customers.

“We have invested in our processes since these matters came to light and are pleased to have resolved these historic issues with the regulator.”

Therese Chambers, enforcement co-head at the FCA, said: “People must be able to trust their lenders to treat them fairly when in financial difficulty.

“It deserves credit for identifying the issue and putting it right. The cost it has incurred in doing so, however, should be a warning to all lenders that they need to understand their customers’ circumstances so as not to make a bad situation worse.”

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