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 Standards of Lending Practice. If you’re a larger business customer, you’re covered by the Lending Principles.

The Standards of Lending Practice

The Standards is a set of principles of good practice in relation to lending to business customer with an annual turnover of up to £6.5m. It covers current accounts overdrafts, loans, credit cards and lending to all businesses.

Under the Standards, our key commitments to you include:

  • We will lend responsibly and treat your business fairly and reasonably at all times.
  • We will ensure that all information we provide about our products and how they work is clear and understandable so that you can decide what is best for your business’ needs.
  • We will provide clear, upfront information on the documents required to support an application. Taking account of this will help to ensure that we can deal with your application efficiently.
  • If we are unable to approve your application, we will explain why and provide a referral, where appropriate, to alternative sources of finance.
  • If your application is declined you have the right to appeal the decision.
  • We will set out any requirements/conditions we may have to support any borrowing in a clear, understandable way.
  • We will confirm the conditions of your business borrowing in writing and highlight any covenants or material conditions attached to it.
  • We will clearly set out the type and frequency of information we will require to monitor the business’ performance.
  • If your business experiences difficulties, we will seek to understand the overall circumstances to try and identify suitable and pragmatic solutions. Where appropriate, we will provide details of free debt advice

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 Standards of Lending Practice.

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 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday

From overseas: +44 1470 697032

Appeals process

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