HSBC yesterday agreed to take responsibility for all customers of disgraced care fees adviser NHFA – even those from before the bank bought the company in 2005.
The move could increase the compensation bill the bank will pay. On Monday it said it expected that would be £30m for the 2,485 pensioners mis-sold investment bonds. NHFA started in 1991 and dealt with around 9,000 elderly people before the bank took over, so many more mis-selling cases could emerge.
Brian Robertson, chief executive of HSBC, said: "I am profoundly sorry about what happened at NHFA and it is only right and proper that we stand fully behind these customers." The move is the bank's latest attempt to reduce damage from the mis-selling scandal, which has also spread to the charity AGE UK and government-funded advice service Firststop. Both recommended NHFA.
Mr Robinson said: "Many customers will be concerned that they, or their relatives, might not have received appropriate advice from NHFA, so we will look at each complaint individually and sympathetically."
The bank is writing to those who were NHFA customers from April 2004 but people who dealt with the firm before then should email NHFA@hsbc.com or write to NHFA, HSBC Bank Plc, PO Box 1888, Coventry, CV3 9WN.