In 2010 the packaged Plus account from HSBC was replaced by the Advance current account in a move that HSBC said gave it's customers better access to mortgages and savings deals with preferential rates.
The account offered many benefits including insurance policies for travel and home insurance as well as breakdown cover for a monthly fee.
What are the benefits of the Advance current account?
The following is a brief overview of the provisions that came with this account:
- Worldwide travel insurance - The account holder, their partner and dependent children are all covered by this policy if they live at the same address. Trips of up to 31 days are covered along with winter sports trips of up to 21 days.
- UK breakdown cover - Roadside assistance as well as assistance at home are included in this policy, which can be upgraded to include European cover.
How much was the HSBC Advance current account monthly Fee?
The account had a monthly fee of £12.95, regardless of whether the account was in credit or not.
How was the HSBC Advance current account mis-sold?
Like payment protection insurance (PPI), PBAs were often mis-sold by banks because the suitability of the product wasn't adequately assessed against the consumers’ needs and what the account offered was not properly explained to them.
When HSBC sold customers a Packaged Bank Account, it was their responsibility to outline all the benefits to the customer to ensure that the decision to take out a PBA was right for them.
How HSBC could have mis-sold the Advance packaged current account?
Many consumers did not want or realise they actually had a packaged bank account after the bank upgraded their account without telling them.
Before considering a packaged bank account, consumers should be made aware of alternative, free accounts that could also work for them.
Many consumers found that there were too many limitations on the policy that they would not have had if they had taken the insurance as a standalone policy. Additionally, consumers may have tried to make a claim on the policy only to find out that they were not covered.
Many consumers did not fully understand how much a packaged bank account was going to cost them per month.
If you are unlikely to use certain packaged bank account benefits, you could lose out. For example, if you don’t drive then breakdown insurance will not be suitable or applicable to your needs.