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Last updated: Oct. 31, 2017

708 HSBC Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 30, 2016

I have received two package letters from HSBC about 3 months apart, and both are identical. "Supposedly" HSBC messed up on a inheritance payout from a personal friend of the family. They did get the inheritor's name correctly but I was concerned due to a couple things: It has been over 10 years since our friend passed away and I have moved many many times since then as well have moved out of my parents' house so how did they follow me? HSBC is asking for many documents that I do not carry- passport, international ID, International Driver's license etc, etc. HSBC insists that if I don't have those documents, I cannot take any steps to receive any monies that THEY forgot (cough cough), to factor into the inheritance I was to receive.

A minor point of concern: The six page letter HSBC sent me is full of misspellings and very poor sentence structure. I have had only high school classes regarding the use of written English and even I am a bit shocked at their poorly written letters. These people scare the crap out of me with all the scamming and fraud going on in the world today. All I need is for HSBC to ask for a credit card... BE VERY CAREFUL DEALING WITH THIS BANK!! THEY SOUND VERY SHADY.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 6, 2016

I applied for my first credit card (HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card) on the 22nd May via the HSBC website and the application is still being processed 2 weeks later. As I applied online I assumed the process would be quick and easy but I was wrong. Since submitting a copy of my current lease agreement and latest payslip in my application I have submitted 100 points of ID twice in the last two weeks at the same HSBC branch (Swanston St, Melbourne) and called the HSBC call centre multiple times to confirm they have received all of the documents and information they required.

This evening I have returned home from work to find another letter stating that I need to contact HSBC as they require further information - As their office hours are until 6pm and I don't get home until 6pm - I can't call them again until I am at work tomorrow. I don't understand why they can't just call me if they need further information - snail mail is very inconvenient especially when the letters just state that they need further information (no specific details) and that I need to call them.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 21, 2016

Just to go along with similar complaints. I could write a book. However my experiences were very much the same as other people's accounts. Out of nowhere HSBC sends me a letter they are closing my HSBC Canada account. I attempted to find out why but was stonewalled at every turn. Not long after I received a letter HSBC is closing my HSBC Shanghai account. However as I was in Canada I could not get my minimal amount of funds out of Shanghai unless I appeared IN PERSON - it's $700 US funds! It took about a year to get my funds without having to appear in person. I had to threaten legal action and an all out attack on their character. My Chinese wife actually went to Shanghai but they would not release the funds to her - it had to be me.

I had set up these accounts as I intended to retire in China. I had little money in them. I was to be a retiring dentist from Canada. I wanted the accounts as would be easy to transfer money from Canada bank to China bank. I have no idea why I was singled out for closure of my account. Minimal funds. Everything above board. Just a "regular Joe". White. Protestant. Clean record. Professional. Fortunately I did not have an account with Visa and Debit and auto payments etc. I can't imagine what a nightmare that has been for hundreds and most likely thousands of people. As for them not giving a reason; it is on the contract you sign on opening account.

However now HSBC Canada has decided to close my wife's account - after 16 years. She still has an HSBC Shanghai account and we have a joint HSBC Singapore account. But we are moving all funds out of these as we are sure they will close those also. We have the joint account in Singapore because technically my wife and I are only common law. In China you cannot have a joint account unless you can prove you are married! I have an ICBC account in Shanghai - no problem. We intend to open a DBS Joint bank account in Hong Kong ASAP.

Someone else on his forum mentioned international accounts are most subject to closure. If you are Canadian and want to transfer money from Canada to a foreign country - GFL (online). HSBC was/is? One of the few banks that allow you to do it. However the risk of having your account suddenly hijacked BY THE BANK is not worth the risk. I would highly recommend to anyone in any walk of life to stay the hell away from HSBC. And by the way, when my wife tried to get my $700 from HSBC in person... the runaround she got was ridiculous. She spent two days at the branch. At first HSBC said there never was such an account. Then they "found" it but there wasn't any money in it! Then they had her go back the next day and they had "found" the money. But they would not release it to her no matter what. What a ridiculous experience. Just stay clear of HSBC.

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Original review: May 18, 2016

On one of office visit, they persuaded me to open select credit account to have overdraft protection on my checking account. After the account was opened, one day I got $35 fee for overdrafting. I didn't call at that time thinking I can donate them that money by saving myself effort of calling. 3 month later, I got a mail saying the select account is not linked to any account of mine and will be close. Then I called the customer service this time. A lady with some Indian-like accent picked up and was like a moron to talk to. She was like "you need to take the effort to link the account" and not admitting the linkage should happen automatically when the select credit account was opened to realize the overdraft protection functionality.

Then I asked her to refund me the fee because the over drafting protection was supposed to be there at that time. She kept asking me: "did you report the issue at that time?" What kind of logic is that? I didn't report immediately, so what? So I can claim you stole my money? After 10 minutes arguing, telling her "don't ** with me," she said she will ask manager for approval. Then it's instantly done. It's good her manager knows what is the right thing to do to keep customers. ** service and I am a prime account member.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 9, 2016

How is it that those that were originally clients of Beneficial Finance, which is a predatory lender are now being taken advantage of a worse lender HSBC. We weren't ask if that's what we wanted. Our accounts are sold out before the ink dries to the biggest crooks that seem to be monopolizing this business. Since there are so many complaints against Beneficial Finance/HSBC why hasn't Consumer Affairs done a thorough investigation which would include an audit on the accounts of the consumers that have complained. I don't think that is too much to ask for. Listing our complaints on a website might stop those that are thinking about getting a loan through either of these companies, however the consumer whose mortgages have been transferred to HSBC because of a merge etc should not be made to be robbed continually, for something they had no control over.

Once you get involved with these companies it's like being in quicksand, you never seem to get out. They have given me over five account numbers for the same account. I started out with a personal with Beneficial Finance. I can understand that there might be a different account number for a personal loan as opposed to a mortgage loan, but that would consist of two account numbers, not four account numbers. Once the personal portion of my loan was paid in full I should have received paperwork indicating that, that loan has been paid in full.

I'm hoping Consumer Affairs can help assist me get this company to clear up my account. Because I am being made to pay my mortgage to include an escrow account which would have made my mortgage higher, however I am being made to pay a higher mortgage payment, and pay taxes and insurance outside of the mortgage. And now they want to add on more money to include another escrow, why when they haven't use the amount that was supposed to include a escrow account in the first place. I'm not the only one with horror stories towards these companies. I feel these claimed are founded to be valid then an audit over the whole account should be done. I need your help, we need your help if you can't help us please direct us to who can. Thank you! P.S. I wasn't sure where to get my Order number, so if you could send me that information I would appreciate that.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: March 22, 2016

I have spent nine years to get back my money that I deposited 11 years ago. I have wasted over 1000 hours. If I write all I have gone through and still not got my money, it will become a thesis of the worst kind no one would have read or imagined. Some highlights of their torture are: I could not go to India after opening the account, they would only deal with me if I go there! So there was a deadlock.

Through so many pleasantly speaking persons with polite British accents, I get the feeling they will do it now, but after 30-60 min talk, they merely explain, why they can't do anything and why it has to be done by another person who will call back, but I can't call him. All their emails are restricted and they do not send anything in writing ever. I had hard time getting the forms, so account became dormant. After filling the forms according to all they wanted, the HSBC bank in India where my wife hand carried the application to the with all the attachments like my passport picture, my PIO certificate, self attested copies of papers I used to open the account, they refused to take the application.

Now with so many hoops, the customer service manager says he will arrange the application to be taken, but he works nights and banks work during the day; so he sends emails and the answers are awaited. I will believe it when they return the money. How can so many pleasantly speaking people be so worthless; my gut feeling is, dum-dum chairman of the bank who is unaware of all the complaints on consumer affairs website. The money equivalent is INR 55000, which is equivalent to US dollars 800. At one point I told them, give it to the reserve Bank of India as my donation. I do not care if I lose the money. God has been kind to me and I can live with the loss. I do not think they are delaying because they want bribes. They are just dum-dum rules that do not allow them to do anything. As an employee, I will quit such a job. My forecast is, such a useless bank is ripe to go belly up.

One may ask, how I opened the account? Well a friend, my classmate from school days, asked me to open the account and he will do whatever is needed while I am in USA. During my short visit to India I opened the account. Nothing ever worked. The friend died soon thereafter; in fact, if he was alive anybody in my place will beat him to death to recommend to me HSBC. Anyway, their real score should be zero stars; I apologize for over-rating them with one star which is too high for them. Please do not open an HSBC account unless you want to go through excruciating torture that will eventually become a memory of your lifetime. Please check what others are saying about them.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 22, 2016

I've had a business account with the bank for over 5 years and they sent me a letter, stating that they are closing my account without giving me a proper reason. I closed the account with them and they never gave me the money in my account back (over 90 000$ US)!!! I am extremely dissatisfied with the way they have treated me since they have basically stolen my money. This is the worst customer service I've ever seen. Take this as a warning if you are closing an account with them, to be extra careful. Also if someone else has faced a similar issue and resolved, please let me know how you did it.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 18, 2016

I am not going to spend additional time explaining... am just going to paste what I wrote the business account specialist at HSBC and what I got as a response. On March 11, I tried to use my card (HSBC Business) and my card got declined. I assumed it was probably due to fraud charge the fraud department detected, and accordingly disabled. After numerous calls (2 hours) however, I found out that my business account has been closed. I did go to the Mercer Island Branch to check if it's true, and if it is, to learn why would a bank close my account. Denyatta (the only person that has been helpful so far) told me my business account has been close on Feb 22nd and HSBC sent a letter of termination in January. I have not received any letter of any kind except a bank statement for the month of February (with payments posting until Feb 28th). I have written checks, made online ACH payments until March 11th.

To say it's a BIG disappointment is an understatement. Not only was my account closed, payments I have made were returned, and I have accrued ~ $500 in returned payment fees and late charges. I cannot pay my creditors because I haven't received my cashier’s check from HSBC (20+ days and counting). Today, I went to the Mercer Island branch to talk to the branch manager but was told he is in the Bellevue branch. I did go to the Bellevue branch but was told to come at a later time/date. I did manage to get your contact from the front desk, hence this email.

HSBC is basically killing my business. My account got closed without me knowing about it. Payments I have made were returned. I was charged lots of fees on returned payments. I don't have access to my money (~20 + days so far). I will file a complaint with relevant bureaus but I also want to get this resolved as soon as possible. Here is a reply I got: "I am sorry to hear about your situation but unfortunately besides instructing you contact customer service center, there isn't much I can personally help." It has been more than 25 days now and I still don't have access to my money!

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 6, 2016

Wish I had read reviews sooner. Awful communication, awful customer service. Awful all around. Run away, run away far. I cannot wait to return to work (when my son turns two in 6 months) so that I can transfer my credit card to another bank.

Verified Buyer
Original review: Feb. 2, 2016

I still can't believe what happened. I am a 52 years old Ph.D. medical doctor, was kicked out of the bank when I tried to open an account. Here is the story: I collected a number for the customer service after I mentioned that I am coming to open an account and waited for my turn for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Unfortunately I got distracted when they called my number and by the time I reached the desk, the employee had already called the next customer, so she asked me to wait and will serve me after. I waited for 65 minutes till that customer finished and she welcomed me to her desk. When she knew that I am coming to open an account she told me that the other employee is the one for opening the accounts and I have to wait for my turn with him. I got pissed off, that is the time when the branch manager noticed and got involved.

Never mind how acutely she spoke to me, she looked at the required papers obviously trying to debate any of them (proof of residence and proof of employment). She looked at my ID, mentioned the address then she looked at my retirement letter dated 2 years earlier (I am early retired for medical reasons). She said "No this will not work. It is dated 2 years earlier. I need a new retirement letter!" I wonder, do they issue an updated birth certificate or death cert every few years or just at the time it happens? Then she said that she "heard" "you are working in Dubai." "Never mind what you heard just mind the documents in front of you," I replied. Yes I spoke to someone earlier in the bank and I told him that I do consultancy work in the UAE and I don't work in Dubai, because actually I work in Abu Dhabi but I don't have proof of residence and proof of employment out there.

She went for a while and came back: "No Dr. Ahmed we cannot open an account for you because our system shows that this ID is registered that you are working in Dubai." "How come this happened? This is my second time in the HSBC as a whole and the employee I met in the morning I didn't show him my ID." "Ahmm... I did it now" "On what basis ma'am?" "We know you work in Dubai." "How did you know?" "We heard." "But I have a residential and employment status in Egypt." Then she asked me to leave the site. Hilarious Ha.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 20, 2016

Changed their system so you can no longer transfer money online. You have to do it through a mobile app which does not work 100% of the time.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 13, 2016

I noticed this when checking my credit reports. For me, it hasn't affected my rating too much, but for my husband it is really bad. We are an older couple and have paid off all our debts. He only has one little credit card. I'm in a better situation since my daughter's parent student loans were in my name only, so that is showing up. I called them and they said "Write a letter and dispute it." I did, and they replied that my account has be deleted or some such nonsense. What makes this bad for us is if we want to get a car loan my income alone won't qualify us. He is the only one still working at this time. In fact, I was so mad at them, I looked into refinancing with another company. We can't because the person with the income in our family has practically no credit history.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 30, 2015

I've had an HSBC account for the last 10 years and the only reason I started one was because my father knew someone who worked at the local branch. I just started college at the time and had to start handling money, but after all these years this bank is still trying to leech off of me after I stopped using them. For starters, I had a checking, savings and overdraft accounts. And I regret every one of them with their slow customer service, lost bills and lies. But the worst part is the overdraft they call "Credit Select" because they will do everything possible to charge you a late fee.

First off, they would not allow me to access my Credit Select online, no matter how many times I asked them to. It's simply not listed in my account summary where my checking and savings are. So there's no way I can check it on my own time or make fast payments. Next, their bills have an unbelievable uncanniness to get lost or arrive too late. My monthly due date, if there's a charge, is on the 28th. And I wouldn't see this letter until the 5th or 6th the next month. No other bank will ever do this except for HSBC. So every time I have to make a payment, I have to call them up and they say "That's too bad, you gotta pay extra." And this scenario has happened well over a dozen times over the last decade and I've finally had enough.

So in October, I called them up to close down all 3 of my accounts. I paid for all outstanding balances and brought everything down to $0. I specifically made sure this was taken care of before November because I was going on a long-term trip over a month. When I came back, it turns out they sent me yet another bill for consecutive late fees after the account was cleared and paid for on October 15th (due date October 28th). So two weeks ago, I called up customer service and they say I no longer have accounts and cannot access any data under my name so they said, "Don't worry about it." Today, I took it to the bank and they say that I owe them $150... I am sick of these leeches. If you open an HSBC account, you going to regret wasting money on this bank.

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Original review: Dec. 21, 2015

This is the slowest bank I have ever dealt with. I have been waiting for my bank account to be open for more than a month. After calling their phone number and listening to music for 30 min, I went to the branch and made there a complaint. They said they would contact me in the beginning of the following week. Of course, they didn't do that. The person from customer support asked all the possible security questions and provided 0 answers.

Original review: Dec. 14, 2015

Funds transferred on the 16/11/15 did not reach the Beneficiary. After 4 weeks of international calls, the payments team confessed to receiving a cable in response to their inquiry which they did not know whether it was from the Beneficiary bank or an Intermediary bank??? This is clearly professional negligence or more likely as Abdullah of Damman has pointed out on this review site a clear plan to deviously profit, milking interest.

Original review: Dec. 3, 2015

HSBC has to be one of the most opportunistic and unprofessional Global bank ever dealt with. Funds transiting their platforms constantly get held hostage and get milked for interest while their second or 3rd party clients frantically follow-up and complain to get it released. They, like cowards, wait until the last possible second of pressure mounting from their clients to release these payments. They will eventually lose loads of corporate and retail clients for their greedy mischief.

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Original review: Dec. 2, 2015

I was a customer for over a decade with HSBC and used them as my main bank. I had a grandfathered Online Payment account (my main payment account over all that time) as well as Choice Checking account. I asked them via online mail to close the Choice Checking account - someone screwed up and closed the Online Payment account. I pointed out the error and asked them to fix it. Instead of fixing the error they tell me they no longer offer Online Payment accounts and can't reopen it. I call in to talk to a manager to get the issue resolved - same answer "yep we screwed up and no we can't fix it." I promptly told them to close all of my accounts.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 26, 2015

I had to sign up with HSBC for a personal loan I took out to purchase a laptop in a store (and this bank is their loan partner). This should be fantastic advertising for them - but it has simply made me appreciate my current bank all the more. The staff on the phone were RUDE and terribly unhelpful when I tried to set up my credit card, the system crashed TWICE and I had to start all over again. HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU NEED TO ASK SECURITY QUESTIONS. Almost two hours to register a credit card is ridiculous. The website is completely user unfriendly and hard to navigate and the sign in process is lengthy and over the top. I will be cancelling my card as SOON as I have paid my loan and not coming back near this bank ever again.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 24, 2015

Hello. Yeah I have moved 2 months ago in the UK to study. I went to open a bank account and start work and as HSBC were offering a 60 pound amazon voucher I decided to go with them. I entered HSBC and was greeted by a rude employee. We spoke and she gave me an application form. I went home, filled it in, came back and they told me I would receive a letter by 7 days. It has been 5 weeks. 4 times visiting the branch asking for help and get told they cannot do anything. 3 times increasing their waiting period (from 7 days, to 3 weeks, to 8 weeks). 1 phone call with operator - to hear the same thing, and here I am still waiting just to get any notification from them. I mean seriously how hard is it?!?

Original review: Nov. 10, 2015

We already hated HSBC, after numerous stuff ups during the building of our new home where forms were not being signed and money not being released to our builder but feel we are stuck for now and so we are trying to make the best of it. My husband who runs a small business has been told that we can't have a business account because we don't earn over $1000,000. We had to go to a different bank and open one with them and transfer money over to our spending account with HSBC. We have just found out that after fixing our interest rate that we are now no longer able to transfer money straight into the loan account. Unless it is a scheduled payment we have to physically go into the bank or fill out forms at home with our signature and email them to the bank.

Original review: Oct. 29, 2015

Been a Premiere Customer for years. Trying to refinance on an HSBC loan, where the ultimate LTV is 60%. 2 months, Never ending... Idiots, incompetence, hostility, lying. It's so bad the poor schmuck that is allegedly my 'personal banker' wrote me a personal note of apology. The second this ridiculous refinance is over - closing everything, writing a note to a few people. No one will care of course - you can't turn a sinking ship. My point is - if they screw their best customers - what will they do to you.

Original review: Oct. 20, 2015

HSBC get one star from me only because this site doesn't allow 0 or negative stars! I used to live and work in Hong Kong and thus had an MPF (pension) account. Several in fact because the compulsory one is set up poorly: every time you change jobs you have to open a new account with whatever provider your new employer uses.

When I left permanently I attempted to close my MPF accounts. The first account from some investment firm I can't recall, went without a hitch. Closed and cheque issued within 2 weeks (usual timeframe is a month). The 2nd, from Standard Chartered, was a little more problematic. They didn't fill in the form correctly and I needed to redo it and re-sign it. The problem was this wasn't picked up until 2 weeks later - by which time I was no longer in Hong Kong. To their credit, Standard Chartered emailed and called me as soon as they realised their mistake. They emailed me the new form which I printed, signed, scanned and emailed back. Within a day they contacted me again to say it was all okay and the MPF account would be closed; it was within 2 weeks and I had my money. Within a month I had two of my MPF accounts closed and the money.

HSBC HK on the other hand was a long series of total and complete cock-ups. After 3 weeks of waiting I called HSBC (overseas call, so it cost me) to check on my progress. Was told it was still being processed. I waited a bit over a week and rang again. This time I was told there was a problem with my application form - literally a missed 'R' from my HK ID #. Instead of someone just writing this in (they had a verified copy of my HK ID), HSBC had - instead of emailing or calling me - sent a letter out informing me. This they had sent out 3 weeks earlier (so the person I spoke to the previous week had lied, obviously could not be bothered to even check my details).

Here's the thing: they had sent the letter to an address I lived in 2 years earlier! When I was in HK I had updated my address details, verbally told them where I was moving to, and saw them write it on the MPF withdrawal application form. Despite this they still sent the letter out to an old address. Their excuses were, 'they hadn't processed my change of address form yet' and 'I had only changed my address for my HSBC bank account, not my HSBC MPF account'.

For 3 weeks they had been doing nothing; just waiting for me to get in contact with them. Real professional. What they wanted me to do was come back in (a mere 18000km round trip) and fill in the form again, this time making sure that pesky 'R' was there - and then wait another 4 weeks for it to be processed. It took several phone calls and probably more than 4 hours on the phone in total (no really!) to convince them their 'solution' was not ideal. Eventually they agreed to let me fill in the form here, get it verified and courier it over.

Here's the next thing: that form missing the 'R' had been filled in by the HSBC MPF specialist. He filled it in, carefully checked it over and told me it was all okay. Having not filled in one before (HSBC was my 1st call) I left it all up to him. I pointed this out to HSBC every time I called them. HSBC lied, lied and continued to lie. Fortunately I had my partner with me at the time, so it wasn't a mere case of my word against theirs. That didn't stop trying to lie their asses off though.

HSBC first claimed I hadn't seen the MPF specialist; that I had just dropped the already completed forms off at a Tellers window and walked out without even telling them what they were. This then became I had seen the specialist but only for a few seconds, giving him the already completed forms. This morphed into I had sat with him but the forms were filled in and I had told him they were all correct so he didn't check them. They altered this to he had filled them in and gave them to me to check which I told him everything was okay. Finally they admitted that yes, he had filled the forms in for me (it's his bloody job, right? At that point I had never seen that form before; he dealt with them daily) and told me they were all correct. This admission from HSBC that they were 100% at fault took almost 2 months and several hours of phone calls.

It doesn't end there. Because of their major stuff-up, due solely to a mistake by an HSBC employee, it took almost 2 months extra to process my MPF withdrawal. During that time my HSBC fund dropped in value by almost HK$10000 - over US$1000. In addition, during this time (the time between my other investments, which were less than my HSBC MPF account, went up over HK$40,000 (approx US$5000). Had I my HSBC MPF funds available during that time, I would have made at least another HK$50,000. Add in the cost of the phone-calls, and other costs I estimate that HSBC's stuff-up cost me at least HK$60,000 (approx US$8000). And that doesn't include the stress and aggravation.

HSBC, despite admitting to me that this was all their fault, after another 6 weeks of 'investigation' offered me a measly HK$2000 (US$250) with the proviso that this was their full and final offer; if I took it, I could not make any further complaints. If I didn't, well, I could go take a running jump as far as HSBC was concerned (They said as much: told me if I didn't accept the pathetic $2000 that was the end of the matter and they would no longer consider my complaint). Either way I was screwed. If I took it, I couldn't make a complaint. If I didn't, they would ignore me anyway. Even here, they lied to me: over the phone they told me that this was just their initial offer while they were still investigating. I accepted, only to receive a letter a week later informing me that this was their final and only offer.

HSBC HK totally stuffed up, lied to me continually for weeks, kept me hanging for weeks waiting for my own damn money, and when they finally were forced to admit their mistakes offered an insulting sop for all my troubles. Incidentally, during all this time I was caring for my mother who was sick, and in and out of hospital (this was the reason I left HK and returned home) - and yes, I did tell HSBC this was why I needed the money. An extremely stressful and unpleasant time.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 19, 2015

I call this branch on 0090850 211 0112 to make a simple money transfer of 400 Turkish Lira to my UK account. This is only £75, it took them 1 hour and 20 mins to deal with this. My call was transferred at least 4-6 times to different people whose computer system was down. In addition, many of the employees on this number cannot speak English or understand, surely a basic requirement for working in an international bank. They also do not speak clearly so it's hard to understand what they are saying. We did manage to get my banking internet account working again, hurrah, but I am none the wiser of the procedure for moving money!! The call will have cost me around £7 and they were not willing to waive their foreign currency charge even though it was obvious how frustrated I was.

Original review: Oct. 19, 2015

I moved with my family to Australia almost 5 years ago. Before I left I informed HSBC of this but told them I still wanted to have my UK account. They said I wasn't entitled to my package insurance policies as I had to live in the UK so the 10 quid a month fee would stop. This didn't happen, so I spent ages trying to get this to stop. Eventually it did but about 3 years ago it started again without my knowledge. No my account is overdrawn because of this. I complained on 8th July 2015 and still haven't heard anything. I get the same email response back from the customer repair team each time and have spent a fortune in calls from Australia to the so called UK call center (Sri Lanka). I have taken this to the ombudsman and have been advised that I was mis-sold my package many years before. Hopefully they will resolve it soon. We plan to move back to the UK in January... Any suggestions on who we should bank with?

Original review: Oct. 9, 2015

First of all, let me start by saying HSBC used to be great. I had a good relationship with them for more than 2 years (less than the other complainants but still), had no late fees with my credit card, and never falls below minimum ADB. Several times, I even recommended them to my co-teachers, associates, and even to my family and relatives because I was pleased with them at the start.

Then, last year, one of their bankers, even knowing I was a client of another of their banker, decided to offer me a Prulife Uk plan. I was just starting to learn about investing so I decided to get one, not knowing she was trying to take credit (if I'm not mistaken, they also get commission from referrals). When my original banker came back, she was surprised but still offered me another plan. I had to disappoint her. The 2nd banker kept on giving me "investment proposals"... Manulife, Prulife, bonds, etc you name it, she offered until I was starting to get annoyed. Let me repeat that I already got one plan... & at an extra charge of 163 for 5 years (I was told I have to pay 100163 instead of just 100k if I got a plan directly from Prulife UK). I let it pass because I wanted to keep peace but decided not to get anymore from HSBC. However, before I found out, I still referred people to HSBC...

Last year, my credit card was suddenly charged with the premium. I was shocked, first because I didn't authorize it, 2nd because I didn't sign any forms for auto-debit. Imagine if you're suddenly less a 100 grand in your credit line... wouldn't you be shocked too? I asked Prulife UK to review my policy and I checked my copy. Imagine my second shock to see that the box that said I want to use auto debit was ticked even though I specifically told that noisy banker and the HSBC Prulife UK agent that it was only to be used to pay once. Since they were the ones guiding me throughout the application form, and knowing I want my card to be charged only once, they could have simply followed instructions, but no, they checked that box without my knowledge. I said that's negligence & the handwriting is not mine. Then I looked at the form I signed & found out that I really did state to pay ONLY ONCE in the credit card authorization to debit form.

What they did was actually illegal and I was angry at their mistake that could have cost me to lose credit score but since I was planning to pay anyway, I decided to let it go, too. Prulife Uk apologized, and me, in my naivete, accepted it and thought the problem was resolved. Suddenly, I received emails for credit card offers, some I accepted because of the bonuses, others I rejected but I still use my HSBC card and paid all my debts. I thought HSBC was still alright. Then that noisy banker began asking me for more requirements. She even caused trouble for my original banker and, suddenly, it was more difficult to transact with HSBC over the counter. My original banker was ordered to get the requirements and when I gave them, I was told more was required. Then, suddenly, all requests stopped & I thought I can finally have peace. Note, this all happened between May 12, 2015 until June or July. Today is Oct 9, 2015.

Yesterday, my original banker suddenly called me to say she is going to forward letters to me from head office. I said, "sure, just send it to my house as I was at work." The letters arrived today: one, telling me to close my accounts before Nov 8, 2015, the other, stating that they no longer want to handle my Prulife UK policy. The letter said they wanted me to close accounts because I didn't pass my requirements despite their exhausted efforts to contact me through calls or mailers. I was surprised because I already did. Also, they could have simply contacted me on my cellphone. They could even call my workplace (a school I've been with for 5 years) but they didn't even bother. No mails or emails arrived from HSBC other than offers to use their credit card, no announcements were sent to my online account, nothing... but in the letter, they said they "exhausted" effort to contact me while in reality, they barely even tried.

I saw the news finally about how HSBC was suddenly closing accounts of people they deem "risky". I thought, it must be because I have foreign currency accounts with them as well as time deposit. I immediately called the number they included in the first letter to find out why they're suddenly closing my accounts. They kept insisting they don't know but I can complain. When I insisted they tell me or call the manager, they called the manager to tell me it was for "administrative reasons". In the letter, they added that I will have to pay fees & all applicable charges. I recalled that my preterm for time will be charged so I asked about it. They immediately told me it will be waived & I can get my interest (that's a relief).

Next, I told them I don't want to exchange my foreign currencies because they are low right now. They said they can give me cash or manager's check. I chose cash because mc will take 1 month to clear. Last, I found out they already cut my credit card without telling me. They even read the terms & conditions about their decision being final & can be done even without letting their clients know. I was really angry at first but decided not to waste time. I withdrew & opened at another bank as soon as possible.

If you read my statement from the paragraph above, you will think, ok... so no problem? But think beyond. My credit score is now ruined. Although I can still transact with other banks, this affects my financial credibility. Imagine the embarrassment I will have to face when they spread that they are refusing to transact with me. Not only do some of their bankers socialize within my circle of acquaintances, some are even my old classmates/schoolmates. If I had read the news about them before, I would definitely close my accounts with them, & not let them get the chance to discredit me.

I hope that those who still have HSBC accounts beware of what's happening. Now you're safe, but with their power to simply close your accounts without telling you, their "terms and conditions" you signed that they can add on anytime without telling you, their ability to take advantage of your naivete or ignorance, they actually have power over your credit score & could ruin it without care even if you haven't done anything wrong. Lastly, although I will not be a hypocrite & say I don't wish them ruin, I hope their clients can get away before their banks fail. Of course, it is possible also that they will not fail, Good luck & God bless anyway.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 7, 2015

If I can give them no stars I would. Their business practices, if not illegal is definitely unethical. Due to my balance, HSBC upgraded my account to some sort of premium status account without notifying me. This account requires a higher minimum balance and once I fall under this amount I would unknowingly be charged ridiculous fees. Keep in mind I barely met the minimum balance requirement. No one can tell me why this account was upgraded without my authorization and no one can find papers or recordings of me authorization this change. I'm chalking this up to one of those bad bank practices of "hoping he won't notice until it is too late" schemes. Well I noticed and I'm taking any/all actions available to me to enlighten others not to bank with HSBC.

After calling customer service to have all my accounts closed, I was informed that the changes were made by one of 2 people who entered my account recently. Raj ** and Gloria ** in the Forest Hills branch of HSBC. When I tried to contact them, I was told by the branch that they were out to lunch and that I would get a call back from them in approximately 1 hour. I never got a call back.

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Original review: Oct. 4, 2015

Unlike a lot of folks commenting, I have not had trouble with accessing money. I set up bank to bank transfers only and have not had problems. What I HAVE had problems with multiple times over the years, and which has resulted in me closing my account, is their ridiculous security process and customer service. The first agent I spoke with today eventually started yelling at me and the second one was trying to convince me to stay with them. Why? What benefits? I don't need your .03 per qtr. I have never experienced customer service more rude than that of HSBC.

Original review: Sept. 18, 2015

I cannot believe I am sitting here for the last 2 hours to get my own money out of our account. For starters, you will be dealing with customer service who is reading from a script and clueless. We have answered any and all security questions and still cannot do a bank to bank transfer. You should never use this bank ever! As soon as I can get to my money it is coming out!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 15, 2015

At the Oakland Chinatown HSBC, I deposited cash in their ATM. I took too long and it took my money, but didn't credit my account.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 29, 2015

Worried about death as an HSBC international client, let me tell you what your family is going to have go through when you die.. HELL! Trying to get HSBC Hongkong to send the right forms, give you a correct process, is like trying to get blood out of a stone. They stop speaking English when you get them on the helpdesk. They send the wrong forms and information, everything has to be done by snail mail, you do not hear anything for weeks, emails are just copy paste lip service, they do not accept UK probate without you having pay thousands of extra pounds for having your signature, passport, birth certificates notarized. Then the same documents of the deceased.. and it takes them (so far) 5 months to tell you this. They will not tell you what is the deceased accounts without paying 100hk and it takes them 4 months to send you the form.

You then get no reply, so 5 months down the road they have returned UK probate and a registered heirs documents as unacceptable, because they now want all documents notarized. So a notary is more important to this bank than the UK HIGH COURT. This bank will do anything to stop families from recovering your assets should YOU DIE and we all die, every client dies. Who spends 3000 pounds to recover an account that you do not even know has any funds left. BEWARE INTERNATIONAL clients, this bank will destroy your grieving family for fun and a few dollars. The newest now demands that as international clients family we have to get Hongkong high court probate documents and or have our documents sealed by the Hongkong high courts. All documents and signatures including passports to be notarized by Hongkong lawyers or HSBC bank staff (who will not do this). YOU have warned, bank with HSBC and your family will go through hell.

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