Why I love and hate HSBC
When I moved to the UK I needed to open a bank account. So began a rigmarole that circled back into a catch 22 situation; you can’t rent a property without a bank account and you can’t open an account without a local address.
Bank after bank transferred my call to different departments; none of which could assist me in opening an account until I had formally arrived in the UK and lived at one address for more than a month.
HSBC rescued me with a limited function account that I could open with just a passport. I still needed to go to a branch to complete the paperwork, but I could evade the circular reference of not yet having a fixed address.
Falling in love with HSBC
But this is where I started to fall in love with my bank – the branch manager needed authorisation on the process and came down to meet me – I explained that I was moving to the UK and from that point on she took away all the bureaucracy and red tape. I communicated by email, scanned documents and as soon as I had a permanent address, my accounts were automatically converted to standard accounts without the limitations.
People often say that when dealing with their banks, they have just become a number. They call distant call centres and don’t have access to a traditional bank manager. I guess this is true in many instances – banks have to be efficient and maintaining high touch, personal relationships is expensive.
I guess it depends on your branch, the manager and your circumstances, however I love HSBC.
The balance of love-hate
But I’m incredibly frustrated at the amount of paper that my bank produces. I hate that they say, “Go Green”, but then send me paper for every transaction. I admit that I am not a ‘run of the mill’ client – but every foreign transfer into my account results in a letter confirming the funds. Every change of terms and conditions results in a small forest being sent through the mail.
I realize that the Royal Mail needs the work – but there are far more convenient ways to do this – secure electronic document delivery is no longer a black art.
Hands up everyone that would rather receive most of their post in an email ? Countless studies have shown that consumers, SMEs and businesses prefer email to paper.
Come on HSBC – put my email address as my primary contact point and just email it.
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