HSBC No Fixed Address

Just seen an advert for this initiative on YouTube. It’s rare I’ll see an advert that captivates my attention enough to let it play but this one did, and I’m glad because it’s quite important.

I don’t know what, if anything, other banks are doing in relation to this, but sounds like the sort of thing that fits perfectly with Monzo’s mission.

Good job HSBC! This is excellent! :clap:

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Well done to HSBC on this, but I do seem to remember that Monzo were already fairly strong on this. Let me go see…

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Newer banks, including Monzo, also offer basic current accounts without proof of a fixed address.

They will usually ask for proof of ID but will typically allow someone to open an account with a temporary address, such as a friend or family member’s house, or an address of a homeless shelter or refuge.

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Awesome! Great to see!

I do recall Monzo doing something similar, but I think was geared towards younger folks!

Any workarounds for those who don’t have ID?

Monzo dabbled with this a while back:

The link in the first post mentions that Monzo helped a small number of homeless people to open an account.

Then there’s this commitment for basic bank accounts (in the context of documents for asylum seekers but which may apply to the homeless, too) which I don’t recall the follow up to:

Over to @AlanDoe to confirm what the current situation is!

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Excellent stuff! Would love to see an update on this front!

Just had a quick look into the requirements to open a Monzo account these days, and indeed fixed address does not appear to be one of them. They just need an address to send your card to, I’m presuming from the way it’s been written.

I think this is one of those things where the legacy banks have the resources to perhaps do a bit better, in that if there’s nowhere safe for them to send a card, it needn’t be a problem when you can get it from the branch.

Edit: just had a thought bubble appear above my head! Virtual card only as standard. So folks can open an account without needing an address to have a card sent to. Other banks have started offering this sort of product for other reasons, be it cost, or the environment, but I think having such a product available at all completely eliminates the need for an address too, because the bank has nothing physical to send to you, so there’s a benefit here too.

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But if you’re homeless, are you likely to have a device capable of Apple Pay?

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You’d be surprised. I’ve seen homeless with iPhones, and there’s a Vodafone “Donate your old device and we’ll donate the SIM to someone who needs it” currently going on

Granted, this was in Leeds

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Yes. Not least because people almost always have a life of some kind before they’re homeless, so likely would’ve had every chance to obtain a decent phone in (relatively) good times. Not least because smartphones are effectively a basic essential these days. Same principle also applies to refugees and why it’s so frustrating when some people say they can’t be that badly off if they have phones.

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I was more thinking from a charging perspective, rather than affordability.

And how long does having a phone that you could possibly sell, take priority over food?

Plenty of cheap android devices around with Google pay. But if you’re deprived in the phone department, a digital bank just won’t work anyway.

Why it’s great to see a legacy one stepping up here, with branches they can use.

In terms of the digital ones, if you do have a phone, and all of those I’ve met who have been homeless did have a smartphone of some kind, removing the need to receive a physical card could break down a rather large obstacle for them.

The vast majority of people who are homeless and stuck in that cycle aren’t gonna be your average stereotypical assumption of a homeless person. It’s often those trying to get out of an abusive relationship of some kind.

The important thing though, is breaking the cycle. Because once you have one of those things, the battle for the others becomes much more feasible.

As for charging, most anywhere will let you charge your phone. McDonalds is a common crutch. You can charge your phone and freshen up for free.

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Homeless shelters, pubs, cafes, libraries. There are public spaces available where they can have the opportunity to charge.

And they’d have to be desperate to sell a phone, it’s not a smart idea to get rid of one of the biggest tools that keeps you connected to the world and can possibly help you find a way out.

To me you might as well say “They don’t need two kidneys, how long does having both take precedence over possibly selling one to buy food.” :slight_smile:

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Not even close to the same, but I understand why you said it.

I wasn’t meaning this in a “You’re homeless, you shouldn’t have/deserve a phone” but the practicalities/costs of said phone. But maybe with free wifi/charging available it’s more practical than I thought.

As for the address part, I always thought that was for verification/fraud purposes rather than the actual delivery of said card, as otherwise like said above, wouldn’t it be easier to pick one up from a branch or get it sent to a hostel etc etc?

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Shelter and over places provide phones and places to charge them, it’s all part of inclusion so that the homeless can still access news, services etc.

Even just job seeking pretty much requires an internet connection, fire up Indeed they can be looking for jobs just like that, without having to wait for some support service to open for the day for them to use a computer.

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Ah, I understand your point better now you’ve said that. In my experience coming across the homeless in the course of my job; yes, it is more practical than you thought. It’s certainly not the case that they’re carrying around expensive bricks that they can’t use.

I think you’re right about the current emphasis on address requirements being for anti-fraud purposes, but it is unfortunate that it locks out the homeless by doing so. In other industries this would be an example of indirect (I think) discrimination.

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I’ve just clicked the link for HSBC as I thought this can’t be new news, it’s been around a couple of years. I believe shelter and HSBC got together to provide a service. It’s a good service either way to make sure people can still get an account.

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It’s hard to find an exact date. I know these things have been around for a few years at a few banks by way of pilot schemes at a few branches dotted in the odd city around the country.

But this is the first I’ve seen that’s nation wide. I don’t know how recent that is, but looking into news outlets, a big push was made in June this year promoting it, so I’d guess then.

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Could well be June I’m thinking of, months feel like they’ve stretched into years.

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Saw an advert at the cinema yesterday. Was really quite powerful.

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I saw that when I went to get a film too - it hits hard doesn’t it?

Homeless=No bank, No Bank= No Job, No Job= No house

It’s a vicious cycle

You wouldn’t think a bank account is so valuable

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