Ingeus and HSBC partnership pays dividends for jobseekers

1 Dec 2022
Jobseekers with no fixed address are now able to open a bank account thanks to a ground-breaking new partnership between employability provider Ingeus, and one of the UK’s largest banks – HSBC UK. 

Ingeus is one of the first employability providers to work with the bank through its No Fixed Address (NFA) Programme.

The scheme allows people without photo ID or proof of address, such as a recent bill or tenancy agreement, to open an account. This in turn will allow them to receive benefits and move toward finding employment.

Vanessa Whale, financial inclusion and vulnerability manager at HSBC UK, explained:

“Without a bank account, people can’t receive benefits, get a job, or rent accommodation, which means they can become trapped in their current situation. We’re committed to offering support to those who would otherwise be excluded from banking.

“Through our work with our network of charities and partners, including Ingeus, we are able to reach more people and support them in their journey to reintegrate into society and gain employment.”

The scheme sees specialist Ingeus employment advisors meeting their clients at a participating bank branch to verify their identity. Josh Falla from Wigan is one of the first Ingeus participants to have benefited from the partnership.

The 22-year-old has been unemployed for six years, since leaving school. Having never worked or been accepted for a bank account before, Josh became homeless, sofa surfing for the past six months.

“I’ve had offers of work before which I’ve had to decline because I didn’t have an account. It was so frustrating,” Josh explains.

Josh was referred for support to Ingeus, joining the Restart Scheme in Wigan. His Restart Advisor Dean Cumberbirch arranged for Joshua to have a new smart phone and to attend a CV workshop with an Ingeus employability trainer. An appointment at HSBC UK was arranged, which Joshua attended along with Dean and Alec Warburton, Ingeus’s Financial Information and Guidance Officer. Josh successfully opened a bank account less than a month after joining the Restart Scheme.

“Having never had a bank account before, I was nervous, but also excited, going into the branch. It helped a lot having Dean and Alec there supporting me,” continues Josh. “I feel like I’ve turned a corner – found some independence – and can freely apply for jobs now, knowing I can tell an employer my bank account details.

“I’m actively looking for work now, with Dean’s help – part-time to begin with to build up my confidence and experience. Dean has helped me so much – mentally and with practical advice. This is the first step to independence, and I hope a job and more stable accommodation will follow.”

The partnership will help break the cycle of financial exclusion for Ingeus’s most vulnerable customers according to Alec Warburton, who instigated the new partnership. 

“We have quite a lot of clients with no fixed address, and it is so important for them to be able to have a bank account,” he said.

“We work hard at Ingeus to help people back into work, but they need an account for their salary to be paid into, it’s a big stumbling block.

“A bank account also gives financial independence and means people can safely receive benefits.”

This new support is available across all Ingeus’s back to work support programmes including the Restart Scheme, JETS (Job Entry Targeted Support) and the Work and Health Programme. Participants need to have been with Ingeus for at least three weeks to take part. They can use the address of a friend or a Jobcentre Plus office to receive post from the bank.

Ingeus is the latest organisation to be verified under the HSBC No Fixed Address programme, following charities including Shelter. The service is available in 195 HSBC branches across the UK, helping people in their journey to get back on their feet.

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