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Facebookers bring HSBC to its knees

Web fanatics get free overdrafts

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Facebook may not change the world, but it's changed one of the world's largest banks.

HSBC had planned to collect overdraft fees for Brits leaving university this summer, but after thousands of students mounted an online protest via Facebook, the big-name bank has scrapped the plan entirely, The BBC reports.

According to the National Union of Students (NUS), which organized the protest, more than 4,000 students badmouthed the bank from a Facebook group called "Stop the Great HSBC Graduate Rip-off".

"There can be no doubt that using Facebook made the world of difference to our campaign," said NUS vice president Wes Streeting. "By setting up a group on a site that is incredibly popular with students, it enabled us to contact our members during the summer vacation far more easily than would otherwise have been possible. It also meant that we could involve our former members - the graduates who were going to be most affected by this policy."

In joining HSBC, many students assumed they could make free overdrafts after graduation, but the bank said otherwise, slapping a 9.9 per cent annual fee on each overdraft. Now students are getting their wish.

"Following the feedback from our graduate account holders, both directly and via the NUS, we have taken the decision to freeze interest charging on 2007 graduates overdrafts up to £1,500," HSBC said. ®

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