Did HSBC Target 20,000 Elderly?

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Byline: James Salmon Money Mail Chief Reporter

MORE than 20,000 pensioners may have been victims of the HSBC investment mis-selling scandal, it emerged yesterday.

The shamed High Street giant will contact 11,000 elderly savers sold investments intended to fund the cost of care in their old age since 2004, by its rogue advice subsidiary the Nursing Homes Fees Agency.

An estimated 10,000 more may have been lured into gambling their cash since the firm was founded in 1991. Many of the victims are likely to have already died.

On Monday, HSBC was hit with a record [pounds sterling]10.5million fine and ordered to pay [pounds sterling]29.3million compensation after NHFA was found to have missold investments to 2,485 people between 2005 and 2010.

Victims, who were on average aged 83 were persuaded to part with an average [pounds sterling]115,000, often nest eggs from the sale of their homes.

Last night, as the bank tried to salvage its tarnished reputation, more revelations emerged: ? Insiders claim staff were advised to target lone, elderly customers visiting branches before families got involved; ? The bank has uncovered evidence of mis-selling from before it took over in 2005; ? HSBC branch staff were still passing elderly customers to NHFA salesmen in April - almost 18 months after the mis-selling was uncovered; ? …