Facebook Users Fight (And Beat) Bank’s Decision

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Here’s a brilliant financial guideline by which most people live: don’t spend more money than you have.  But when a UK bank tried to enforce that guideline by charging interest on overdrafts, a big, Facebook-style fuss erupted.  An interesting resolution then occurred: the Facebook users won.

There’s a bit more to the story than that, however; while some irresponsible “young‘uns” will indeed get away without paying interest, their bank appears to have been acting in an underhanded manner.

“In previous years HSBC, like other high street banks, had allowed students an interest-free overdraft typically up to £1,500-£2,000 for the first few years after graduation,” report Hilary Osborne and Harriet Meyer for the Guardian Unlimited.  “But in July it said it was scrapping free overdrafts and would charge interest at 9.9%.”

The policy went into effect just one month later, and a “Stop the Great HSBC Graduate Rip-Off!!!” group was created on Facebook in response; there are currently almost 6,000 members.  In the, uh, face of this and other protests, the bank eventually backed down.

“Following the feedback from our graduate account holders, both directly and through the NUS [National Student Union], we have taken the decision to freeze interest charging on 2007 graduates’ overdrafts up to £1,500, and refund any interest charged in August,” Andy Ripley, head of product development at HSBC, stated in a press release.

Say, Facebook . . . I’m buying a house.  Wanna protest mortgage rates?

Facebook Users Fight (And Beat) Bank’s Decision
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