HSBC to offer credit cards to migrants with no UK credit history

HSBC has become the first UK bank to offer newcomers to the country the option to include international credit history when applying for a credit card.

The bank has teamed up with international credit bureau Nova Credit, which offers data on credit history from 12 overseas countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Spain, Switzerland, and the US.

US-based Nova Credit tackles the problem that immigrants have when they arrive in a new country – that their credit history is stopped at the border.

The Nova Credit Passport capability pulls newcomers’ established credit data from their country of origin and converts it into an equivalent score and report suitable for use by lenders and financial services providers in their new host country.

HSBC has already deployed the technology in Singapore, initially to support customers with credit history in India. The bank has also invested $10 million in the company as it prepares to tap into the Credit Passport around the globe.

Madhu Kejriwal, head of unsecured lending at HSBC UK says: “Newcomers can face real and unique hurdles when settling into their new lives in the UK – from struggling to set up essential services due to lack of local credit history to juggling finances between locations and understanding tax considerations.

“Opening a credit card and building credit is an important step when setting up life in a new country. As the UK’s leading international bank, we’re excited to be able to offer customers the option to leverage credit history built up overseas to start a positive credit history in the UK on arrival.”

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