07 September 2021
The Methodist Church in Great Britain has written to HSBC to ask it to reconsider introducing charges which it says will hit smaller churches. Many churches and community groups have been informed by the bank that new charges will be introduced which will mean they have to pay monthly fees and charges on each transaction they make.
In the letter, the Church’s Director of Finance and Resources Matt Tattersall says it’s astonishing that the bank should do this when it has announced £2bn profits in its UK market in the first six months of this year and continues: “Given that the charity sector has played such a vital role in supporting the country through the pandemic, and Methodist churches have played a key role in their local communities (such as running foodbanks), the timing of your announcement is extremely insensitive. Many of our treasurers will reach the conclusion that HSBC simply no longer wants their custom.”
Mr Tattersall said: “These charges will hit smaller charities with a turnover of less than £100,000 a year. In the Methodist Church our churches are largely entirely reliant on volunteers and make an important contribution to communities. Banks need to reflect on the wider social values provided by charities and the inter-connectivity between business, government and the charitable sector which has been so keenly highlighted throughout the pandemic.
“At a conservative estimate, if 2000 of our churches and groups are hit by these new charges HSBC will make £120,000 a year at a time which is a significant drain on already hard-pressed volunteers trying to rebuild following the pandemic.”
Mr Tattersall concludes his letter by asking HSBC to reconsider introducing the charges.
Read the letter here (Pdf)