HSBC launches two financial health programs

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HSBC’s U.S. retail division has formed two partnerships to enhance its financial wellness offerings.

The $274.3 billion-asset subsidiary of the British banking giant teamed with the fintech Everfi to introduce a self-guided online platform that educates consumers about homebuying, building credit, financing college and other topics. The bank also partnered with GreenPath Financial Wellness to offer in-person financial education workshops through nonprofits and community organizations.

“This is about building the knowledge, attitude and habits to build financial well-being," said Michael Rogan, head of corporate and strategic partnerships. "It’s about the ability to make decisions that increase financial security and choice now and in the future.”

Financial wellness programs and tools are becoming increasingly popular with banks seeking to connect with consumers on a deeper level.

SunTrust Banks in Atlanta, for example, offers a financial coaching program called Momentum onUp to its corporate clients. And when Fifth Third Bancorp heard that new parents wanted help budgeting for their new arrivals, the Cincinnati bank partnered with a Goldman Sachs company to offer its employees a similar program.

HSBC Bank USA intends the two discrete programs to complement each other. The idea is that consumers might attend a financial education workshop and later brush up their knowledge with a self-guided module, or vice versa.

Working in partnership with GreenPath, the bank has so far trained more than 200 of its own employees to deliver those in-person programs. Most, but not all, of those employees are retail branch bankers, said Kelly Fisher, head of corporate sustainability.

“We’ve trained HR people, marketing people — my own team is trained. It’s not too heavy of a lift, so they don’t have to be experts in one niche area,” she said. “By using our employees, we’re building their skills, and we’re making them part of their communities.”

HSBC Bank USA is planning to offer its in-person educational sessions, dubbed Your Money Counts, in all of its U.S. markets, including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami and Seattle.

Meanwhile, the self-guided modules developed in partnership with Everfi are on a separate page at HSBC’s website and available for anyone, regardless of whether they are an HSBC customer.

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