HSBC has become one of the biggest global banks to say it will begin charging clients on deposits in a basket of European currencies.

The decision underlies the extraordinary measures banks are taking to prevent their profit margins being crushed in the record low-interest rate environment.

HSBC has written to other banks to warn it will start charging them for deposits in euros, Swiss francs, Danish krone and Swedish krona — all currencies of countries that have negative interest rates — at its UK, German and Hong Kong operations from this summer.

It is the first UK bank to announce such charges following similar announcements from Swiss, German and Nordic institutions.

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