• cathybevan8

Ogmore MS calls for retention of free banking services for charities and community groups

Charities across Ogmore with HSBC accounts face a host of new charges from November after the bank announced it will charge a £60 a year fee just to keep the accounts open.

The bank has also introduced charges for branch transactions including a 0.4 per cent fee to pay in and withdraw cash, a charge of £4 on a £1,000 donation, and a fee of 40p to deposit a cheque.

For more than a decade the bank has allowed charities and non-profit organisations to manage their finances for free, as long as they made no more than £100,000 a year.

Speaking in the Senedd this week, Huw Irranca-Davies MS called on the Welsh Government for a debate on the availability of free banking for charities and community groups and said:

“HSBC is the latest of the banks to introduce charges for community groups such as the Women’s Institute, local scouts, girl guides, sports clubs, and many others from the end of this month. This will be a ‘hammer blow’ to groups who have had such a hard time coming through the pandemic, now to find they’re going to be facing charges.

Many of these charity groups have traditionally banked with HSBC because of their policy of not charging for these accounts, and there will be an adverse and far-reaching effect on a number of community groups and charities across the whole of Wales if these proposed charges go ahead.

I have written to HSBC to highlight the concerns raised with me by local groups and support them in their call for a retention of this free banking facility.”