HSBC to pay £4m to clients over ‘unreasonable’ debt collection

About 6,700 people paid charges later ruled not to reflect actual costs of collecting debt

The Financial Conduct Authority also identified 350 customers where HFC had miscalculated the interest payable on their loan

HSBC has agreed to stump up £4 million (€4.6m ) to pay back customers subjected to "unreasonable" debt collection practices following a regulatory probe.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said on Friday that the bank has voluntarily agreed to set up a redress scheme for customers who were left out of pocket after paying unreasonable debt collection charges imposed by HFC Bank (HFC) and John Lewis Financial Services Limited (JLFS), both part of HSBC.

The regulator said that, between 2003 and 2009, customers of HFC and JLFS who fell into arrears were referred to the firms’ nominated solicitors.

However, on referral, the solicitors added 16.4 per cent of the balance to the account as a “debt collection charge”. This was deemed unreasonable by the Office of Fair Trading in 2010 as it did not reflect the actual costs of collecting the debt.


About 6,700 customers, the majority belonging to HFC, paid the additional charge prior to 2010 and are potentially entitled to redress.

The FCA also identified certain customers where HFC had miscalculated the interest payable on their loan.

HSBC has identified around 350 customer accounts which were affected by this particular error and has committed to repay the overcharged interest back to them.

In total, HSBC will fork out £4 million in redress and, for each group of customers, the lender will also pay 8 per cent interest per year.

The FCA added that HSBC will proactively contact all affected customers with offers of redress.

– Press Association