HSBC’s Passport account customers can now tap into local knowledge of the UK - from information on healthcare and employment to transport or finding a plumber - in their own language, with the introduction of a new 24-hour multi-lingual advice service as part of their account.
Passport is HSBC's unique current account and relocation service for new arrivals to the UK.
The relocation advice service is available online and over the phone in six languages - Polish, Spanish, French, Slovak, Czech and English - with more to be added if there is sufficient demand. Customers can speak directly to a representative in their own language, or email their queries in any language and receive a response in English within 48 hours. The multi-language relocation service does not include telephone banking.
Information about HSBC's Passport service and application forms will also soon be available online or in-branch on request in 11 languages - English, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Chinese, Romanian, Bulgarian, Czech, Russian and Filipino.
Skye MacFarlane, manager of international services at HSBC, said: "The popularity of Passport has far exceeded our expectations, and we're working hard to keep up with demand from this fast-growing customer group. Since launching last June, we have opened more than 35,000 accounts, and with more than 1,500 migrants arriving in the UK every day demand will only continue to grow.
"Demand is greatest from Poles, who make up 26 per cent of new account openings, followed by people from France, Australia, Slovakia and India. Unlike similar accounts on the market, HSBC's Passport is truly international with accounts being opened by nationals from 175 countries worldwide. Indeed, the top 30 countries (after Poland) make up the next 25 per cent of account openings."
HSBC's Passport service now includes:
li>24-hour relocation advice and local knowledge online and over the phone in six languages (Polish, Spanish, French, Slovak, Czech and English) in partnership with red241;
- a fully-functional current account, enabling customers to set up standing orders and direct debits, and to transact online, over the phone or in-branch;
- a guaranteed international debit card which can be used in retail outlets and at 59,000 Link ATMs in the UK and 900,000 Cirrus / Maestro ATMs worldwide;
- discounted international money transfers through the bank's Priority Payment system and access to WorldPay for lower-value international transfers;
- 10 per cent on savings with the bank's preferential Regular Saver - the highest paying savings account on the market, or instant access to savings with HSBC's Flexible Saver; and
- a SIM card, £10 free credit and discounted international and local mobile phone calls through Carphone Warehouse's MobileWorld for those who want to stay in touch with family and friends at home