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September 18th 2023

HSBC UK partners with Nova Credit to become first UK bank to offer newcomers option to include international credit history when applying for a credit card

Newcomers to the UK can now leverage their international credit history instantly and free of charge when applying for a credit card with HSBC UK, thanks to a new partnership between the bank and Nova Credit, the world's only cross-border credit bureau.

  • Newcomers can now include their international credit history digitally and free of charge as part of a seamless HSBC UK credit card online application journey

  • Significant year-over-year increase (79%) in HSBC UK credit card approval rates for newcomers to the UK with credit history from eligible countries.

  • Applicants can choose to include their credit history from 12 countries, with India, the US and the Philippines being the most common to date.

LONDON, 18 September 2023 - Newcomers to the UK can now leverage their international credit history instantly and free of charge when applying for a credit card with HSBC UK, thanks to a new partnership between the bank and Nova Credit, the world's only cross-border credit bureau.

New and existing customers applying for an HSBC UK credit card online can choose to share their credit history from a growing list of 12 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Spain, Switzerland, and the US.

The UK immigrant population is one of the fastest-growing demographics in the country. More than 10 million people living in the UK were born overseas and every year more than 800,000 more people are granted long-term visas to work or study in the UK. Currently, 95% of the country’s net population growth comes from immigration, expected to grow to more than 100% by 2025.

Recent research commissioned by Nova Credit reveals the financial challenges of relocating to the UK:

  • For two in three (66%) working age immigrants in the UK, receiving credit products took longer than expected due to lack of UK credit history.

  • Over half (55%) feel they have been treated differently due to lack of UK credit history, and only one in four (26%) have experienced fully online processes to access credit products and services.

Madhu Kejriwal, Head of Unsecured Lending at HSBC UK said: “Newcomers are vital to the growth of our economy, with the flow of ideas and experiences enriching the lives of people across the UK and around the world. But 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.”

Collin Galster, Head of International at Nova Credit said: “We’re thrilled to expand our global partnership with HSBC. With nearly 100% of the UK’s population growth coming from migration, businesses cannot win without a dedicated strategy to better attract and retain this highly prized, yet underserved segment. We’re seeing growing recognition to better serve newcomers in the UK, particularly as the FCA’s Consumer Duty rules take effect this year. The Nova Passport has been warmly welcomed by the market as a range of businesses can use it to build more compelling propositions and more valuable customer relationships.”

HSBC UK becomes the second HSBC entity, after HSBC Singapore, to roll out Nova Credit’s technology. In line with its commitment to supporting more new-to-country applicants to gain the credit they need internationally, HSBC’s venture capital division, HSBC Ventures, invested $10 million in Nova Credit in Autumn 2022.


HSBC UK serves over 14.75 million customers across the UK, supported by 24,000 colleagues. HSBC UK offers a complete range of retail banking and wealth management to personal and private banking customers, as well as commercial banking for small to medium businesses and large corporates. HSBC UK is a ring fenced bank and wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc.

HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of HSBC, is headquartered in London. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 62 countries and territories. With assets of US$3,041bn at 30 June 2023, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

About Nova Credit

Nova Credit is a consumer-permissioned credit bureau whose products help businesses make more fair and informed decisions on millions of ‘thin file’, no credit history or new-to-country applicants.

The Nova Passport™ (known as Credit Passport™ outside of the UK) unlocks cross-border credit bureau data to help businesses underwrite new-to-country newcomer populations. Businesses partner with Nova Credit to approve more applicants without taking on more risk, and consumers are empowered to put their best foot forward in their applications.

Since launching in San Francisco in 2016, the company has developed partnerships with credit bureaus in over 20 countries globally and has helped unlock consumer-permissioned access to over 2 billion credit profiles. The company’s differentiated data sources and proprietary analytics are used by leading organisations like American Express, Verizon, HSBC, SoFi and Yardi.

Nova Credit is backed by investors including Kleiner Perkins, General Catalyst, Index Venture and Canapi as well as executives from Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Citi.

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