HSBC axes small business owners’ accounts during holidays
CTV British Columbia
Published Monday, December 16, 2013 10:06PM PST
Small business owners in B.C. are fuming after finding out in the busy holiday season that HSBC is closing their bank accounts.
Florist Gabriel Yiu, who owns three Angela & Gabriel’s flower shops in Vancouver with his wife, had been a loyal HSBC customer for 22 years when he received a letter telling him his business was no longer wanted.
“It was a shock,” Yiu said. “When my wife first received the letter she couldn’t believe her eyes.”
The only reason stated in the letter was that the bank was changing its strategy. The couple was offered 60 days to find another financial institution.
“The profitability of our business is not high enough for the bank to consider maintaining the service to us, even though we’ve been with the bank since day one,” Yiu said.
HSBC confirmed to CTV News that it’s cutting service to some of its least profitable business customers in favour of companies with “international needs.” The bank did not say how many small business accounts it’s closing.
Yiu and his wife have already found another lending institution to handle their business accounts, the Langley-based Envision Financial.
The company said it’s been busy collecting clients that were cast aside by HSBC.
“Not just one or two, but actually across our branch network, we’ve had quite a few,” Envision president Shelly Besse said.
“For us, it’s really about sitting down and looking at how we can help them and make the transition easy.”
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Peter Grainger