Our lending principles

When you borrow from HSBC, you can be reassured that your business will be properly and fairly treated. To help you understand what you can expect from us, we've made a commitment to follow the two sets of minimum standards that have been created.

If you're a small business or a personal banking customer, you're protected by the Lending Code. If you're a larger business customer, you're covered by the Lending Principles.

The Lending Code

The Lending Code is a self-regulatory code of practice which sets standards for banks, building societies and credit card providers to follow when they're dealing with their individual or personal customers and micro-enterprise customers.

It applies to consumers, businesses that employ fewer than 10 people with an annual turnover or balance sheet less than €2m and charities with an income of less than £1 million. It covers current account overdrafts, loans, credit cards and lending to micro-enterprises and charities. It does not apply to non-business borrowing secured on land or to sales finance.

Under the Lending Code, our key commitments to you include:

  • making sure that advertising and promotional literature is fair, clear and not misleading, with clear information about our products and services
  • giving you clear information about products and services before, during and after the point of sale, including how they work, their terms and conditions and the interest rates and charges that apply to them
  • providing regular statements (if appropriate), and informing you about changes to the interest rates, charges or terms and conditions
  • lending money responsibly
  • dealing quickly and sympathetically with things that go wrong, and acting sympathetically and positively when considering a customer's financial difficulties
  • treating your personal information as private and confidential, and providing secure and reliable banking and payment systems
  • making sure our staff are trained to put this Code into practice

The Lending Principles

HSBC and the four other largest banks have created a set of Lending Principles for Larger Businesses. These Principles apply to businesses with a turnover of less than £25m but do not cover smaller businesses, which are protected by the Lending Code.

They cover key aspects of the relationship between banks and larger business customers, from product information and credit applications to ongoing communication and dealing with difficulties if things go wrong.

Under the Lending Principles, our key commitments to you include:

  • acting fairly and reasonably in all our dealings with you
  • lending money responsibly
  • ensuring our business managers put these Principles into practice

Find out more

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Get in touch

If you're an existing customer, call us on

03457 60 60 60

Textphone number: 0345 7125 563. Lines are open 8am to 10pm, Monday to Sunday.

From overseas: +44 1226 260 878

If you're new to HSBC, please call us on

0800 032 1770

Lines are open 8am to 10pm, Monday to Sunday

From overseas: +44 1470 697032

Appeals process

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