HSBC losing it?

Hi Good morning All.

I didnt have a good day yesterday with HSBC. Slept through it and decided to sound it out here.

Is it just me or what? I have account with them for more than 10 years now. Used to love them to bits, but now I find they are getting worse. To summarise:

  • Their transaction history only keep for 3 months.
  • The inbox is also very short. All my messages are erased.
  • They send out SMS without telling me beforehand (no email, no letter) which led me to think that it was a hoax
  • They use this horrible "security device"
  • Their products are not attractive
  • Their phone service is terrible: I cant determine what is the right option to choose, and they asked more than 6 security questions Round 1! And wanted to ask more questions. I hang up at that point, after 30 minutes on the phone. It was only a $200 account!

Unfortunately I do transfesr between my Oz and overseas account, and find it hard to close it. But I will close it as soon as I find an alternate!!

Any sharing much appreciated.

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  • I was with them for a while years ago due to a fee-free CC offer. Eventually quit when they raised the threshold for interest bearing savings such that I was losing money banking with them. One thing I discovered early on was their Internet banking would only work in Windows PCs. Other banks had no problems making cross-platform clients. Maybe they are getting old and creaky. Interested in what bank you go with for overseas transactions, may need that someday, Citi looks interesting.

    PS: It's losing, from lose, cf loose.

    • Thanx Possum. I am loosing it….

      I need to go overseas to open a new account…

    • For the technically curious, it wasn't an IE dependency. Their Internet banking site worked fine with Firefox on Windows. They were doing something weird that was dependent on Windows on the client side. I didn't have the patience to ferret out the cause.

      • +1

        I am not a technical person. But I fail to understand why a HUGE bank like HSBC is not able to store data over 3 months, whereas some of our little Oz banks can.

        • +1

          i disagree. 2 years of transactions is not unreasonable. they are required to keep records for several years for the government.

        • Not that they can't. On other HSBC (not AU), they have history over a year.
          I can't think of any good intention on their part to limit it to 3 months.

        • May be of a benefit to some… Once I had a government department request my banking transactions back TEN YEARS. I went to the bank and they laughed, saying no one can legally request more than seven years of history. So who knows, three months might be dole-cheat heaven!

  • Are you their Premier account customer? Are you using their transfer facility to transfer money between your OZ HSBC account and your overseas HSBC account?

    • Yes. Any relevance?

      • Isn't it free to transfer money between your overseas account if you are a Premier customer?

        I am with HSBC now, but I never had to call up customer service(luckily), I have a relationship manager to do things for me, all I do is flick an email to her and she'll usually call me to confirm and update me on how things are going. Don't get me wrong, HSBC is not perfect and all the comments from other people are valid, but I find that if you know someone working in the bank, generally things get done without much hassle. I applied for a home loan with NAB, it took them 2 weeks to get back in touch after I submitted my application, not even a word whether it has been approved or not. I went to HSBC after a week of waiting, by the time NAB got back in touch, my loan with HSBC has already been approved at a lower interest rate.

        Yes, they need to keep up with the times and their internet banking is mediocre at best, but have you seen Citibank's internet banking website? It is the most horrendous website I have ever used. It took me half and hour to figure out how to transfer money to someone else!

        But it does depend on what you are looking for in a bank I guess, the points that you made doesn't really apply to me. My advice would be, move your bank activities to another bank if you don't like the bank, but don't burn your bridge with your old bank. I have accounts with 4 different banks in Australia, who I bank with really depends on whichever one is easier or has a better offer on at any point in time. After all, you are the customer.

        • Hi Geek, thanx for sharing. Looks like we are in different situation. I used to be in yours, but now I dont physically go to any banks anymore. I relied almost 100% on internet, email and phones. When we were looking for home loan, HSBC asked for this and that, and CBA had someone coming to our home! It saddened me to see how they fall from the number 1 bank (in my opinion) to what they are today.
          As for transfer funds from/to Oz from/to overseas, it's not free, paid something like $18, down from maybe $30. I didnt mind that at first because of the speediness. But coupled with other issues… the rest are in my original post.

        • Hmm… if you are their Premier customer, it should be free. Check out this page:

          under Waived Bank Charges, if you send money to your overseas HSBC bank account, it should be free and exchange rates are pretty good, much better than the rates than if you just walk into their bank. You should also have a relationship manager at your local branch, which means you don't really need to go to a branch. I hate queues so generally I avoid going to the bank if I can help it too!

          That's why I asked if you are their Premier customer, and if the hsbc account overseas is under your name.

          But yes, I did need to go to the branch to apply for my loan and submit my documentation.

          If you sending money to someone else overseas, ozforex is pretty good, though I don't use them anymore recently, as I have found other competing websites with even better rates, though ozforex range of supported currencies is hard to beat.

  • We are closing our bank accounts with HSBC at the moment and only have our credit card open with them until we find another card which offers similar incentives along with Qantas points.

    I should say that we still have out UK accounts open with HSBC.

    • Hi Pax, I would assume that you are not happy with them too? What is the breaking point?

      • Internet banking security tokens, mobile banking app behind the times, and lack of assistance/flexibility with a home loan, even though we have been with them for over 10 years too.

  • im also not happy with them, just keep few hundreds there now and move all to ubank.
    only good to deposit Cheques

  • I closed our account with them after they started deducting fees from client payments. In otherwords I would invoice a client $100, the client would pay $100 but I would receive $90 with no explanation as to where the $10 went. If I need to pay $10 as a fee thats fine, but put it as a separate line item so that I can reconcile. They did this to me twice, and twice I complained to the ombudsman and got my fees back, but they didnt realise thats not the point.

  • also, i find their their online banking poor as a whole.

  • Two points I like about HSBC here. I can setup email alert whenever there is a transaction in my account. I would have loved an sms also, but mail is better than nothing. (Please let me know if any other bank offer this service, of course for free).
    And I find their currency exchange rate reasonable. I know Citi is favourite here, but HSBC is similar, or better. For example, right now the rate page shows,
    HSBC USD Buy -> 0.9055 Sell -> 0.8726
    Citi USD Buy -> 0.9032 Sell -> 0.8832
    Ok, Citi is better now, but I generally see HSBC rate better. Their online GetRate has even better rates, (close to +/- 1%). I don't know if Citi has similar service. But this works on weekdays only, and had terrible uptime when I needed it.
    Other than that, I wouldn't count on them as primary account. And they also have very chinese feel in Australian branches, probably they bring lot more business.

    • St George has free customisable email alerts. They have SMS too (10 free per month, then they are charged at 25c per alert)

  • HSBC hasn't moved withy the times. Dreadful website. There are about five steps for every simple process. That security device is enormous and outdated. Got outta there a while ago. Now with ING. Don't know that helps with overseas transactions though.

  • I recently switched from HSBC to ING after about 10 years because:

    • the most over the top identity checking procedures I've ever encountered. I had a joint account with my wife and they refused to ID her even when we both called and had internet banking open so could tell them everything about the account. They would only give her address if we went into the branch to ID her again!
    • the worst security device in the industry that makes you enter random and complex codes to make transfers. Haven't seen something this bad since Rabobank several years ago.
    • hidden fees. As per EasyHR, they deduct "interbank" fees from deposits made by an overseas bank which are not disclosed - you just get less. In my case, these were more than $20!
  • I used to use International bank transfers but they work out expensive. ie you loose on the exchange rate + your banks fees and normally loose another $10 on the receiving bank. I now use You get a much better rate plus you transfer the money when the rate is good. All you then need to do it a local transfer from your local acct to the ozforex bank account, they transfer the money (normally overnight) to your overseas acct. I have never paid more that about AU12.

  • +1

    Check out twitter for HSBC Collapse.
    In the UK some bright bunny acted on some new rules around stopping money laundering.
    The effect was that if you wanted withdraw more than 3000 pounds you had to had a written reason for what you were going to do with the cast otherwise they refused to allow the withdrawal. This looked like the bank was running out of cash and appeared to almost start a run on the bank.

    • They have since stopped that. But there was some BS reason they were asking for evidence. I think stop old biddies being coerced by shonky types. Ive seen it happen before.

  • I used to have a hsbc account. I got my pounds locked up in local bank. Couldnt move them anyway easily, despite having uk hsbc account.

    Was earning 0.0% in term deposits. Surely they can make something for me? Also I had to keep some bogus savings account to transfer money into, which had to be 1,000$ to avoid monthly bank fees. When aus dollar plunged had to top it back up.

    And yes, I got a letter every 12-24 months saying they would close my sleeping accounts, unless i came into bank and withdrew 1 cent.

    Ended up taking huge loss transferring out to my commonwealth.

    Perhaps look at for transferring between uk and aus.
    3 eur + 0.5% commision.

    Look like a ponze scheme, but asx listed and choice magazine award.

  • I also find their online banking and security device to be a terrible experience. Thought it was just me, but guess not!

  • Thanx everyone for sharing. Looks like I need to find an alternative very very quickly.

  • I was with HSBC for years when they stopped sending statements, and seemed unable to fix their system so I'd get a statement.

    I missed a payment so there was a rather large surcharge for that. I called them and they said they'd take it off because I was such a good customer. They didn't.

    I called them again. They said again they'd remove the charge but didn't. I did this for 6 months, calling every month like a game, getting the person's name each time and writing down the times and what they had promised. I even think I was getting the same person each time, but being a foreign call center it was hard to tell…

    Eventually I had enough. I created an account and credit cards with another bank, and faxed HSBC a long letter documenting all of the problems I had, how they had screwed me around and lots tens of thousands over $50 or something because they couldn't get their statements together, closing my account, and telling them to go F themselves.

    No response… until a few weeks or months later when it was all done and dusted… from an Australian call center this time… and they asked if there was anything they could do to help me. A bit late, mate.

    HSBC are scum and their staff are absolutely, utterly, useless liars. I'll never touch them again.

  • Their security device is good and bad.

    Bad because it takes forever to do a simple thing, needing one password to make another password so you can enter another password.

    But good because of the complexity, probably any hacker/thief would've given up in 5 mins.

  • Look at UBank. One of the better interest rates. SMS confirmation of transactions. No fees. Pay anyone.

  • Their security device is crazy. Why not simplify it with a two-step authentication process (like gmail or other banks?). How that device was unleashed on customers is beyond me. Only a bank which has no idea about the customer experience could go down the path that HSBC has chosen.

    • The token idea is fine IMHO except implement it similar to the other bank's with SMS instead. While I'm fully aware of SMS can be intercepted (but you gotta be really determined to do it, not something you can do on a whim) but hasn't RSA's tokens been exploited before?

      I've lost my token once and my account was completely out of action for that entire week. Not happy Jan.

    • i don't have any issue with security tokens

    • I am an accountant and get so annoyed with the device, and would dearly love to sit with those wjo said they didnt mind it.
      When I went to the bank last week and chat up the staff, she git really offended and keep saying its good security. Did they mean CBA, Westpac are not secure?

    • I am an accountant and get so annoyed with the device, and would dearly love to sit with those wjo said they didnt mind it.
      When I went to the bank last week and chat up the staff, she git really offended and keep saying its good security. Did they mean CBA, Westpac are not secure?

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