The NUS has been presented with an award for its HSBC campaign, which forced the bank to go back on its decision to impose charges on graduate overdrafts.

The NUS ran the campaign via Facebook last summer after HSBC introduced overdraft charges that the NUS claim could have cost students £20 million in the first year alone. This could also lead to other banks following suit spelling more financial gloom for students. The campaign was different as it was the first time a social networking site has been used to change the behaviour of a large business. By using Facebook’s popularity and instant response the NUS managed to achieve press coverage and vast amounts of interest for its campaign.

HSBC responded to the NUS saying it had decided to drop the charge on graduate overdrafts and refund any interest it had already charged. The global bank admitted the NUS’s campaign was the reason for the change of heart and even offered £300,000 to the NUS to carry out research into student life to use as evidence in future campaigns.

The award was received at the Annual third sector excellence awards for use of digital media. The awards recognise and celebrate the work that voluntary organisations do in drawing attention to injustice and demanding progress.

The NUS won over other finalist such as the beat bullying campaign, missing people and beat the eating disorders association.

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