I have kept some money parked in an interest earning saving account at HSBC bank for several years. It’s my rainy day fund should I be unemployed for a long period of time, or if I have need of emergency funds for unexpected reasons.

I’ve not added to it for years as I have not earned significantly more than I need and so have not had spare savings to invest. Equally, I have not needed to draw on it as I have successfully lived on what I have earned and paid for holidays and other things from my immediate income.

A few months ago I got a letter from HSBC helpfully telling me that my account was deemed inactive by them and I was therefore locked out of it because I had not logged into online banking for over 12 months. They send me quarterly statements so I know what my balance is. I don’t need to log into it on a regular basis. I had to phone them and go through an inconvenient and extremely bureaucratic procedure to restore access.

Today I received a similar letter telling me that because I had not made any transactions on the account for over two years that they considered my account to be dormant and they were again restricting access to it in the form of barring all future transactions until I phoned them and asked them to reactivate it.

I went through that tedious process and then told them what I think of their incompetent business processes. Setting up a system that is designed to fail is dysfunctional. They should send a warning first saying what will happen if no activity is registered on the account, giving me an opportunity to do so to keep the account active at a time of my convenience. Blocking access to my own money without warning and forcing me to interact with them at an inconvenient time is unacceptable.

HSBC don’t seem to understand the concept of savings, or people planning for their long term futures. They have made it entirely clear to me that they don’t value me as a customer and don’t want to continue making money from my money. I will be transferring my savings to other banks and closing my account as soon as possible. Fuck you HSBC.

HSBC bank is a mendacious fucktard

7 thoughts on “HSBC bank is a mendacious fucktard

  • 26 November 2013 at 10:02 am
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    I’ve had a few dealings with HSBC and none of them have been pleasant. When I lived in the Middle East, I banked with them because they were the bank my ocmpany dealt with and it was simpler that way. They would call me (at inconvenient times) and when I answered the phone I would have a recorded message asking me to hold for a customer service representative. I never did.

    Recently, I closed an HSBC administered credit card (Woolworths) and had to go through two tedious phone calls where they tried every trick in the book to get me to keep my account open – including waiving fees, etc. This continued after I asked them repeatedly to stop and I was told that the call centre is instructed to not deviate from the script – no matter the customer’s request.

    Never again.

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  • 26 November 2013 at 10:23 am
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    While I do not disagree with you it would be in your best interest to transfer money every six months or so. If no transactions happen within 3 years the government can take your money. You can apply to get it back.

    https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/tools-and-resources/find-unclaimed-money/claim-money-from-bank-accounts

    http://www.hoax-slayer.com/government-inactive-accounts-warning.shtml

    So while it is incredibly inconvenient for the bank to limit access to your account it is potentially a service to do so after 2 years as it is easier for you to deal with your bank than have to apply to ASIC to get your money back from consolidated revenue. Is this policy not part of the terms and conditions of the account you signed up for?

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    • 26 November 2013 at 10:58 am
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      The point is the bank should design a system that encourages users to succeed in keeping their accounts open rather than being locked out without warning. They should send warnings before locking you out.

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      • 26 November 2013 at 3:39 pm
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        Absolutely agree but at least when you are locked out after 2 years it’s a reminder to do something about it before you get to three years and the government can techincally take it. If I was you I’d see if you could set up an automatic payment of $5 to be transferred to the account once a year. They are all pretty much as bad as each other. I personally don’t think it worth my time to worry about this sort of stuff I just try and come up with the quickest workarounds.

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        • 26 November 2013 at 4:07 pm
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          Customers should not have to come up with workarounds. Service providers should provide a competent service that includes minimising inconvenient situations for customers. I’d not had this problem with other banks and can only conclude from this that HSBC is being more bureaucratic and annoying than is required by the circumstances. Consequently they will lose my business forever.

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  • 30 November 2013 at 11:24 am
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    You should give Billy’s comments more consideration than you do Brian, and not just on this topic.

    The banks would rather not do this as it’s additional cost for them with no value add. But they have to. You’ll have the same issue with all banks in Australia.

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    • 30 November 2013 at 4:40 pm
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      That’s the point though – I have not had similar issues with other banks with similar long term savings accounts. HSBC is needlessly bureaucratic and unhelpful. The value add for them is making their customers happy and retaining their business. HSBC has lost mine.

      Reply

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