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Student Facebook protest forces bank u-turn

Published: Thursday, 30 August 2007   Category: Government policies

HSBC were forced to abandon plans to scrap their interest-free overdrafts for student customers after a mass protest via social networking site Facebook.

The bank had initially decided to charge graduates 9.9 per cent APR on their overdrafts once they had completed their courses but faced with the prospect of a student boycott the plans were abandoned.

An HSBC statement read: "Following the feedback from our graduate account holders, both directly and via the NUS, we have taken the decision to freeze interest charging on 2007 graduates overdrafts up to £1,500."

Responding to HSBC's change of heart, NUS vice president Wes Streeting told the BBC: "There can be no doubt that using Facebook made the world of difference to our campaign.

"By setting up a group on a site that is incredibly popular with students, it enabled us to contact our members during the summer vacation far more easily than would otherwise have been possible."

Meanwhile, a recent Lloyds TSB survey has shown that the graduates could leave university with debts of around £17,500.ADNFCR-1068-ID-18262588-ADNFCR

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