NGOs commissioner asks HSBC to reconsider account fees

NGOs commissioner asks HSBC to reconsider account fees

Bank says those involved with philanthropy are exempted

Updated 2.50pm

The Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations approached HSBC Bank Malta asking it to reconsider its new account maintenance fees - but was rebuffed.

The commissioner had asked the bank to reconsider its decision because it put a 'disproportionate burden' on the organisations.

His protests, however, were to no avail, the Office of the Commissioner said on Tuesday.

However, bank CEO Andrew Beane told the Times of Malta that HSBC has exempted those involved with pure philanthropy, such as those entities involved in health, wellbeing, and those in need.

"The cost of providing accounts in these days of enhanced compliance at a commercial reality. The maintenance fees do not cover the bank's expenses in full - but HSBC will continue to subsidise its customer," he said, referring to customers in general.

He added that the bank only recoups some 75 per cent of its account handling fees from the fees, and stressed that the bank would not extend these fees to its retail customers.

Mr Beane said that bank took its social responsibility very seriously and had invested €400,000 last year on community initiatives.

The Times of Malta revealed on January 8 that companies banking with HSBC have to pay a maintenance fee of up to €360 a year as from this year. Clubs and associations will have to pay €27 a month, while sole traders and condominiums will pay €12. 

Read: New HSBC €360-a-year maintenance fee angers businesses

HSBC Malta on Tuesday said its profit was down by 23 per cent to €38.6 million in the financial year ended December 2018.

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