How HSBC drove 1,400% uplift in financial abuse awareness

Determined to educate the public on the dangers of economic abuse, HSBC worked with domestic abuse charities to help survivors regain financial independence.

HSBC D&I MW Awards 2023
Source: HSBC

Two thirds of Britons have never considered the link between money and abuse, despite the fact perpetrators attempt to control their victim’s finances in 95% of domestic abuse cases.

While charities raise awareness of physical abuse, the crippling impact of financial abuse has historically been given less attention.

Determined to help victims regain financial independence, HSBC teamed up with domestic abuse charity Hestia and the ‘UK Says No More’ campaign to train more than 4,000 of its employees to help. Turning its branches into safe spaces, HSBC offered survivors assistance opening secure bank accounts.

An accompanying campaign focused on the metaphor of a puppet on strings, chosen to expose how abusers use finance to trap their victims. The campaign launched with an outdoor special build, with actors tied to a billboard in London’s Spitalfields Market to bring the concept to life.

Next, a 30-second advert aired across video-on-demand and social during last autumn’s FIFA World Cup, backed by insight showing cases of domestic abuse increase when the England team play. Using addressable VOD spots on Channel 4, HSBC sent viewers the address of their nearest branch. Ads also featured QR codes linking to support, while spots on Spotify and radio spread the message further.

Winner of the 2023 Marketing Week Award for Diversity and Inclusion Marketing, HSBC saw a 1,400% uplift in visits to its financial abuse webpage over the campaign period – 16% of which were driven by addressable VOD.

A warning system was also devised after the team realised abusers were using payment references to send hateful messages, leading to a 40% drop in such messages being sent on HSBC platforms.