Cefin Campbell, Plaid Cymru’s Member of the Senedd for Mid & West Wales, has slammed HSBC bank for previous bank closures, and their decision to impose charges on charities and societies, as recent figures show that the bank’s profits have soared.
In the third quarter of 2021, HSBC’s profits have risen 74%, with pre-tax profits rising to $5.4bn (£3.9bn) in the three months to 30 September. However, the surge coincides with many societies and charities in communities across Mid & West Wales receiving notification from the bank of the imposition of new punitive charges on community bank accounts and activities.
HSBC have confirmed that they intend to introduce a £5 a month charge per account for community organisations, a 40p charge per cheque, and a fee of 1.5 per cent to supply over-the-counter change. The proposed changes will come into effect on 1 November 2021.
Mr Campbell, who has previously supported a Statement of Opinion in the Senedd tabled by Mabon ap Gwynfor MS, calling on HSBC to reverse the decision, stated:
“This latest revelation of the vast profits made by HSBC over the last quarter will merely be salt in the wound for many areas, including Welshpool, Machynlleth and Llanfyllin, who have seen the bank abandon its communities over recent years - leaving many valued customers high and dry.
“It is immoral that at a time when the bank has seen such ballooning profits, they are needlessly punishing many small charities and societies across Mid & West Wales by introducing punitive charges for basic banking functions. Due to the pandemic, and the lack of fundraising opportunities and face-to-face interaction, it has already been an incredibly difficult time for many charities and community organisations – and such excessive fees imposed by HSBC on extremely valued voluntary groups merely undermines the bank’s lack of social responsibility.”
Plaid Cymru’s Mabon ap Gwynfor MS and Liz Saville Roberts MP have previously started a petition which has gained hundreds of signatures, opposing the implementation of such charges on community groups.