Coronavirus financial guidance and support

Frequently Asked Questions

HSBC UK banking services

Are branches still open?

We’re doing our best to keep as many branches open as possible, but many are on reduced hours or closed because of the coronavirus outbreak. All branches are now closed at the weekend until further notice too.

You can use Branch Finder to check your local branch.

Services in our branches are also currently limited. We can still help with cash deposits and withdrawals, international payments, changes of address and certain other services. However, we won't be able to offer new products or set up new appointments for now.

You can find out how to bank from home by clicking here.

You can also find out how to bank with your local Post Office by clicking here.

Will I still be able to deposit or withdraw cash and cheques from a counter? Will ATMs still work?

Yes, you can visit your nearest HSBC branch to deposit or withdraw cash or cheques. You will still be able to withdraw cash via an HSBC or other Bank’s ATM. To find your nearest branch you can use our online tool.

Some retailers may also allow you to take cashback on your debit card.

You can also use the Post Office® for your everyday banking. If you have a current account, you can use your debit card to check your balance, withdraw or deposit cash at any of the 11,500 Post Office locations across the UK.

However please note, the Post Office will be reviewing the operation of their branches and we would recommend looking at their website to see whether your local Post Office branch is impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Can we pay cheques into our accounts online?

Unfortunately we aren’t able to accept cheques online at the moment, but we are working to introduce this as soon as possible.

Business loans and borrowing

What support is available to my business if it is affected by COVID-19?

For business customers, we have:

  • allocated £5bn from the £14bn SME Lending Fund to help businesses that need support
  • asked relationship managers to proactively contact customers to see what help their businesses need
  • launched a helpline to support any customer queries (0800 0121 614, open 8am – 6pm Monday to Friday) 
  • launched three new Government schemes to support businesses. Further details can be found here.

Banks like HSBC will partner with the British Business Bank to deliver these loans. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs.

The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million (per business borrower) in value. Businesses can access the first 12 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments.

In addition, we will also consider:

  • offering repayment holidays to free up cash within businesses
  • reviewing overdrafts or trade loans to allow stock to be held for longer*
  • providing trade finance solutions to support customers with their supply chains

*Usual rates may still apply

Will you waive overdraft charges for my business account?

We’re are not currently waiving interest on our Business Overdrafts. However, we’re continuously reviewing our product offering to see where we can support customers during this unprecedented time.

HSBC Commercial / Corporate Cards

I can’t afford to make my Commercial Card repayments – can you help?

Please contact us on 03457 60 60 60 and we will discuss what we can do and what options you have.

I don’t have an HSBC UK business current account. Can I still make regular or additional payments to my commercial or corporate card?

Yes. All payment methods detailed on the back of your statement are still available.

However, to lower the risk of any delays we suggest you consider setting up a direct debit. You can do this for the minimum payment amount (applies to commercial cards only). This will make sure you don’t fall behind on your payments.

You can also send funds at any time by contacting your main bank and using the faster payments service. Details of the sort code and account number are on the back of your statement.

Will it cost me more money to use my card abroad or online in foreign currencies as a result of Coronavirus?

No. Our charges for using your card abroad will be staying the same. Please check your card terms and conditions before you travel so you are aware of the charges that apply to overseas spending.

Just so you know, currently financial markets are less stable than normal. This means exchange rates may vary more than they usually would.

What happens if I become a victim of Card fraud whilst affected by Coronavirus?

We’re here to support you. If you think you have fallen victim to fraud, please call our Fraud team on 0800 032 7075 to query the transaction or advise of us any fraud on your card account.

Will there be any increases to my credit card APR or Fees due to Coronavirus?

No. We do not expect Coronavirus to have an impact on your APR or fees.

If I’ve not received goods or services because of Coronavirus, am I entitled to claim the money back through my commercial credit card/company card/business debit card?

It will depend on the specific circumstances of your case.

You should contact the retailer where you have purchased the goods or services (e.g. the airline if you have purchased airline tickets). They will help you understand why you haven’t received the goods or services, and this may enable you to resolve the matter with them directly and quickly. This may result in a refund or offer of an acceptable alternative such as booking for an alternate date.

You can also contact us to query the transaction or raise a dispute. Please call us on 03457 60 60 60.

This next section only applies to Commercial Credit Card/Company Card Customers who are sole traders or partnerships of 3 or less partners

  • Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 offers protection where goods/or services have been purchased by sole traders and partnerships of 3 or less partners using a credit card. It does not apply to other entities using a credit card.
  • Section 75 doesn't provide protection for every transaction made using a credit card and there are 3 main requirements for Section 75 to apply:
    • The Bank must have provided credit used to purchase the goods/services from a supplier which are the basis of the claim
    • The cash price for the goods/services must be between £100 and £30,000
    • There must be a breach of contract or misrepresentation by the supplier
      • A breach of contract is where the supplier doesn't do what the contract says it agreed to do. For example, there's a breach of contract where goods are not supplied, are defective or not up to standard.
      • A misrepresentation is an untrue statement made by one party to another which convinces them to make the purchase. For example, there is misrepresentation if the supplier tells a consumer to buy an expensive piece of software - by incorrectly saying it will be compatible with their existing PC operating system when it is not.
  • You may be entitled to claim money back from us under Section 75, but this will depend on the specific details of each case.
    We ask that you tell us exactly what happened, and give us all relevant documents to support your claim. This is so that we can assess whether there are grounds for a successful claim.
  • We do not expect you to make complicated legal arguments about Section 75, breach of contract or misrepresentation.
    Instead, we ask that you to tell us exactly what happened with relevant documents in support of your claim, so that we can assess whether there are grounds for a successful claim under Section 75.
  • If you wish to make a claim under Section 75, your claim will be worked as a dispute initially and, if this results in an unsuccessful claim their case will be passed to our Section 75 specialist team to review.

HSBC UK savings accounts

Can I access funds from a Business Money Manager and my other business savings account early if I have been impacted by Coronavirus?

Yes, you will be able to access fund. Customers can also still close their BMM account and withdraw the funds earlier if they need to which is part of the current product features.

Will the money in my HSBC UK Business Savings or HSBC UK Business Current Account still be protected?

Yes. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is in place to make sure your balances stay safe. You’ll still be protected for up to £85,000 per eligible depositor. This covers all eligible deposits in both sole or joint current or savings accounts. This limit is applied to the total of any deposits you have with HSBC and first direct.


Who are my users and what can they access?

You may wish to review your users access entitlements, at account level or user level.

Do I have enough users and what is considered as best practice?

For clients using a Dual Administration control we would normally expect to see 3 to 4 System Administrators (SA) to be appointed to manage User and Account Management entitlement changes.

For clients using Sole Administration Control, we would normally expect to see 2 SA’s appointed. In exceptional circumstances it may be appropriate to extend the number of SA’s. NB: Existing End Users will require a new user profile to be created to become System Administrators.

Can I create ‘contingency’ users and withhold security devices until needed?

In exceptional circumstances additional System Administrators can be created with the potential to restrict to System Administration / User Management tasks only, i.e. no entitlement to day to day activities and withhold security devices from contingency users until needed.

How can I efficiently create new users or administrators?

HSBCnet Create New User function will allow the administrator to copy the permissions of an existing user to the new user profile being created.

What are my options with regard to Security Tokens for new users?

Additional devices can be ordered by System Administrators via the Manage Security Devices function within User and Account Management.

I am unable to visit my office location and wish to order some additional security devices, how can I arrange for the devices to be made available to users?

Security Devices can be reallocated to other users, where this may prove practical in line with social distancing measures. However should you do need to order additional devices and cannot ultimately access their intended delivery address, please speak with your Relationship Team before submitting any orders on HSBCnet to discuss the options available.

Is HSBCnet Mobile App accessible for all users?

This can be downloaded on IOS and Android devices accessing their respective app store – this will provide the ability to view accounts, track payments, create and authorise payments.

How do I review payment limits associated with our electronic mandate?

Signature Limits

These can be found within the User & Account Management section> Account Management. In exceptional circumstances consideration being given to creating additional payment approvers – e.g. ACH credits (payroll in mind). The Signature Limit Function does provide the option to create a separate rule per payment type.

Daily Authorisation Limits (DAL)

These are these fit for purpose today for each user and payment type – if admins become too few, these may need amending.

The risk would be that these cannot be amended – typically this is a limit that can become out of date as your business and flows have grown, only realised when ‘the’ payment needs to be approved, then needing Systems Administrators to amend their DAL – we recommend the DAL for each payment authoriser is reviewed and fit for purpose.

If any increases are needed in overall settlement limits agreed with the bank, please contact your Relationship Manager.

We manage our payroll using payment set codes to protect the sensitivity of the payment information, are there any actions we need to take?

We recommend reviewing who has access to the payment set codes to support this and consider whether you need to extend access to other payments creators and authorisers beyond current users.

Please note, BACS, SEPA and Priority Payments can be forward value dated 45 days in case of need.

HSBCnet Helpdesk Information

For ongoing requirements and in the likelihood of new users being created who may have limited finance or systems knowledge – please see contact details for the HSBCnet Helpdesk.

  • Opening Hours: 8am – 6pm GMT
  • Telephone: 0345 6017118
  • International Telephone: 01226 260871
  • We also have online ways you can reach us:
    • Live Chat – direct messaging service with our HSBCnet Helpdesk Operators for guidance.
    • Live Share – ability to share your HSBCnet Screen with our operators to support your enquiry.
    • Help Centre & Virtual Assistant – tools available online via HSBCnet Support (main menu) to seek online guides and videos.

Issues affecting Bacs

I am a Direct Submitter of files. When considering my Bacs contingency plans, what should I be thinking of?

Ensure sufficient card readers and smart cards are available to all users. If more cards are needed, please contact our Bacs Helpdesk on 0345 604 000 (option 3). Smart card readers are provided by your software company; you will need to contact the Bacs helpdesk on 0345 604 000 (option 3) for the latest version of the ‘e-signer link’ to install any new card readers onto your PC/ laptops.

Ensuring that the expiry date on smart cards covers the potential duration of contingency. The expiry date is detailed on the smart cards themselves. Ensure sufficient Primary Security Contacts and Additional Contacts are available to manage day to day processing and maintenance of facility / service. User categories can be checked by a Primary Security Contact by going on to the Bacs website or contacting the Bacs Helpdesk on 0345 604 0000 (option 3).

You would need to ensure that files be released remotely, away from normal working environment. Any software licences should enable your business to work from multiple locations and/or IP addresses.

I am an Indirect Submitter of files. When considering my Bacs contingency plans, what should I be thinking of?

  • Ensure that all staff have access to the accounting package / program which produces the files
  • Ensure staff are able to remit files to the bureau in the normal way
  • Ensure you are comfortable with the Bureau’s own contingency plan
  • Ensure all staff associated with payment processing have Bureau’s helpdesk numbers and contacts

Some clients like to have an added contingency by linking the SUN to an additional Bureau. HSBC’s own bureau, via HSBCnet and File Upload functionality, can be used as a contingency also. HSBC’s bureau is B40251, the PSC can call the Bacs help desk to request this functionality and would also recommend including your Relationship Manager in these discussions.

What happens if my Bacs software fails or I am unable to process Bacs files in the normal way?

As a contingency it is recommended that Direct Submitters have access to a Bureau as a contingency.

This can be provided by your software provider, an independent bureau (see or via HSBCnet (using File Upload). In order to add a Bureau to your existing arrangement please call your Relationship Manager.

Bacs Glossary

Bacs payments, also commonly referred to as ‘ACH’, are a popular payment type for high volume low value bulk* transactions within the UK in GBP. It is most commonly used for salaries and supplier payments.

There are a number of ways of effecting Bacs transactions, what follows are areas to consider for the most commonly utilised:

  • Bacs – Direct Submitter, a direct submitter can originate payment instructions, create payment files and submit directly to Bacs using dedicated software and smartcard technology.
  • Bacs – Indirect Submitter, an indirect submitter uses a payment service provider or commercial bureau to submit payment files to Bacs. The file itself can be created by the payment service provider/bureau or by the submitter themselves.

*Single debit multiple credit.

Global trade solutions

How can HSBC support me in establishing relationships with new suppliers?

HSBC will look to discuss your supply chain with you to help understand any areas of concern.

Depending on various factors, such as the location of new suppliers, transit periods, availability of stock, local practices, HSBC will look to highlight alternative payment terms with supplier to help you to assess the risks and cash flow implications of buying from new suppliers and/or markets.

What are the available cash flow support solutions for Global Trade and Receivables Finance clients?

HSBC’s Global Trade and Receivables Finance solutions are designed specifically to better manage the risks of doing business with global partners and also provide cost-effective sources of funding to support your entire working capital cycle from ordering of goods, through shipment, through manufacturing and stocking periods and post sales to receipt of payment from your customers.

We offer a comprehensive range of solutions to cover each stage of this cycle including:

  • For importers, Letters of Credit or Guarantees can be issued to suppliers to support your purchase order, giving the supplier assurance that you have the ability to pay for the goods which may allow you to negotiate better pricing or credit terms with them. By tailoring the Letter of Credit to your needs (including terms for shipping, delivery, insurance and quality inspection) you can have confidence that the imported goods will be as specified and delivered at the agreed time and place.
  • Buyer Loans can be used in conjunction with Letters of Credit or independently to support your open account purchases. The term (or tenor) of the loan is calculated according to your trade cycle, covering the period from payment to your supplier until point of sale.
  • For exporters, Seller Loans cover the period from point of sale to receipt of payment from your customer but frequently also fund the pre-shipment period to cover manufacturing and stocking. Again, loans can be structured alongside export Letters of Credit or open account terms.
  • For both domestic and export sales, Receivables Finance (also known as Invoice Finance or Invoice Discounting) can provide funding of up to 90% of the value of your invoices pending receipt of payment from your customer.

Due to change in payment terms from my [new] suppliers I now have additional working capital requirements. How can HSBC assist?

We can replace or supplement supplier credit terms by providing a series of Buyer Loans to fund the period from payment to your suppliers to the point of sale to your customers.

Every situation is different so an experienced Trade Manager will work alongside you and your Relationship Manager to tailor a facility based on your new working capital cycle.

Often a new supplier overseas will ask for an advance payment (in part or in full) or a Letter of Credit until you have established a trading history with them. However, this may also bring additional risks to you.

We can assist with pre-shipment Buyer Loans or Letters of Credit which gives the supplier assurance that you have the ability to pay for the goods and – by tailoring the Letter of Credit to your needs (including terms for shipping, delivery, insurance and quality inspection) you can have confidence that the imported goods will be as specified and delivered at the agreed time and place.

How can the stretch on my working capital cycle be addressed?

We will work with you to understand which areas of your working capital cycle can be optimised and where we can structure flexible Trade and Receivables Finance solutions to meet your additional funding requirements.

For example, we could consider Buyer Loans to fund the period from payment to your suppliers to the point of sale to your customers. This could cover any shipping, manufacturing or stocking period. Once you have sold your goods, Receivables Finance can provide funding of up to 90% of the value of your invoices pending receipt of payment from your customer so this could be a cost-effective solution if you need to provide extended credit terms to your customers.

How should I send my applications and requests?

Please use HSBCnet as the primary channel for submission of applications and requests. If you are not set up to use the Trade module in HSBCnet, our specialist teams can assist on 0800 783 1300.

Is there any repayment flexibility for my maturing trade loans?

For customers with a sound trade finance record, we have approved a 60-day extension of trade loans maturing between 19 March 2020 and 30 April 2020. Customers may choose to repay their loan at the original maturity day.

How can HSBC assist me with the late shipments that I have experienced?

Where our customers deem it business appropriate to do so, we would encourage any amendments to Documentary Credits to be submitted as soon as possible.

From an Importers perspective this would mean submitting an amendment to your DC Issuance request, preferably via HSBC Net. For an Exporter this would mean liaising with the applicant to submit an amendment on their end.

For bespoke advice pertaining to your individual situation we would recommend contacting our specialist team to discuss further.

How will HSBC treat a sudden drop in sales in relation to my facility limits?

HSBC has an experienced team that specialise in Trade Finance and Receivables Finance. We will look to work with customers on individual cases to assess the cashflow impact on a reduction of sales.

Solutions may include offering repayment holidays to free up cash within businesses, reviewing overdrafts or trade loans to allow stock to be held for longer and providing trade finance solutions to support customers with their supply chains.

My product is of a seasonal nature. How will this impact my ability to secure funding through Global Trade and Receivables Finance solutions?

Where customers are already using Global Trade and Receivables Finance solutions and have a business that is subject to season flows, the solutions in place are likely to have been structured to allow for seasonal peaks.

We would look to work with customers where they are anticipating larger seasonal swings than before or a change in trading patterns.


I have a question about my insurance who should I contact?

  • Business Insurance (Small Business Banking and Business Banking with a Relationship Manager with turnover up to £25m) – Aviva, phone 0800 015 8948
  • Business Insurance (BBRM & Corporate with turnover >25m) – Jelf/Marsh Group, phone 0333 920 5026
  • Trade Credit Insurance – Euler Hermes, phone 0161 332 8506
  • Group Life – Met Life, phone 0345 234 5757

Coronavirus fraud

Are people using Coronavirus to try and steal money?

Criminals are using the Coronavirus outbreak as an opportunity to try to steal money.

They're posing as organisations such as banks, government, the World Health Organisation or other health service providers, and pretending to offer things like a safe haven for your money or medical guidance. They’ll then try to trick you into giving personal or financial information.

These claims are made in fake emails, phone calls, texts and social posts using Coronavirus as a cover story. Remember, HSBC will never ask you for any PINs or passwords or to move money to a safe account.

If you think you've been targeted by a Coronavirus scam, report it to Action Fraud.

To get more help protecting yourself against fraud, visit the Take Five website. You can also download our scams leaflet.

Please find below a couple of useful links which can be shared with our clients around Cybercrime and highlight the latest scams.

Guidelines relating to travel plans affected by Coronavirus and specific recent scenarios

My flight has been cancelled

If flights or events are cancelled it is important to refer to the contract and follow the supplier’s refund/re-booking terms in the first instance.

We advise you do this before raising any dispute or a Section 75 claim as this will help with your Section 75 claim. Any references to Section 75 only apply to commercial credit card/company card customers.

Future travel plans

If the travel arrangements are all still operational but you want to, or have already cancelled, any refunds will be subject to the refund policy within the supplier’s terms and conditions.

You may not be entitled to a refund if you have voluntarily opted to cancel. It is worth contacting the supplier in case they are willing to offer a refund or alternative as a gesture of goodwill in the exceptional circumstances. If the date of travel is some time in the future, you may want to wait until nearer the time of travel before making a decision to voluntarily cancel.

There will be no dispute or Section 75 rights, unless the supplier’s terms and conditions have a refund policy which the supplier declines to honour.

I’ve booked my flights and hotel independently (i.e. not as a package) and the flights are no longer available

You should contact the airline company and hotel in the first instance to recover the cost of your flights and hotel or to re-book alternatives.

The hotel costs may not be recoverable unless you have cancellation rights in the hotel supplier’s terms. If this isn’t successful, you may be able to dispute the transaction. Please call us on 03457 60 60 60.

I’ve booked flights and hotels for an event. The travel is available but is not required as the event has been cancelled

You should contact the airline company, travel operator or hotel and explain that the event has been cancelled and ask if you are able to cancel. This will depend on your cancellation rights.

Some companies may offer you a refund or allow you to re-book given the circumstances. If you have travel insurance, you may be covered under your insurance policy or the insurance company may be willing to pay out in some circumstances on an exceptional basis.

What happens if I decide not to allow my employees to travel despite travel bookings have already been made and paid for?

You should contact your travel management company/travel agent or the providers of the travel services that have been booked and advise that you wish to cancel the booking. It will be subject to the terms and conditions under that booking for cancellation.

If the service providers refuse to provide a refund there will be no dispute or Section 75 rights, unless the supplier’s terms and conditions have a refund policy which the supplier declines to honour. You may have travel insurance and that should be explored for any options.

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