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Inactive Bank Accounts

If you’ve received an email, SMS or letter from us about an Inactive Account, you can find more information below on the steps you need to take to make your account active again, or to close your account.

What is an Inactive Account?

If no transactions are made to or from an account over a 12-month period, an account is classed as inactive.

After this time, we freeze the account to prevent any risks from fraud, or if the balance is nil, we automatically close it.

How to prevent your account from becoming inactive

We’ll notify you prior to your account being inactive for 12 months. Depending on the details we hold for you, this could be by SMS, email or letter. You’ll then have the following options:

  • keep your account open by making a transaction and continuing to use it regularly
  • close the account if you no longer require it

Freezing or closing your account

As mentioned above, we’ll regularly notify you of your inactive account prior to freezing or closing the account. However, if we don’t see any transactions over the 12-month period, we’ll take one of the following actions:

  • freeze inactive accounts that have a credit balance
  • close inactive accounts that have a zero balance

If your account(s) get frozen due to inactivity, we’ll continue to send you a statement for your account at least annually.

If you want to close the account(s), you can do so by completing a Business Account Closure form which can be found at business.hsbc.uk/account-services. Please return the completed form using the freepost address provided, and destroy any cheque books or cards relating to your account(s). As a security measure, please cut any cards into at least six pieces.

If you’d like to reactivate a frozen account

Before we reactivate your account, we’ll need to check your details are up to date. Please call us on 0800 030 4516* as soon as possible to arrange a Safeguard appointment to review the information we hold about you and your business.

This is required as part of our commitment to fight fraud and financial crime as having accurate information about our customers is a key part of our ability to detect and deter fraudulent transactions, money laundering and tax evasion.

You’ll need your account details to hand, and we’ll also ask some security questions to confirm your identity. You can find more information regarding Safeguard by visiting our website at business.hsbc.uk/safeguard.

*We’re open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5.30pm. If you’re calling from outside the UK, please dial +44 800 030 4516.

The Dormant Accounts Scheme

We take part in the Dormant Accounts Scheme, established under the Dormant Bank and Building Societies Act 2008. If your account is in credit and has been inactive for 15 years or more, we may transfer the balance to Reclaim Fund Limited (RFL).

RFL is a not-for-profit organisation authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. However, if you have another account with us which is being used, we won't transfer your inactive account money to the central fund.

The aim of the scheme is so that money in inactive accounts can be shared out for the benefit of the community, at the same time protecting the rights of customers to reclaim their money. Under the terms of the Unclaimed Assets Scheme, you have the right to reclaim your money at any time.

If we transfer the balance of your account to RFL, you'll have exactly the same right to payment of your moneys and we’ll remain responsible for handling all repayment claims on behalf of RFL. You should continue to contact us in the usual way if you have any queries or complaints about your account(s) or balance.

Both HSBC and RFL are part of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). That means the transfer of your balance to RFL will have no adverse impact on your entitlement to compensation under the FSCS.


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