Need help choosing where to bank!

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    35

    Need help choosing where to bank!

    I need to regularly wire money back to Canada to pay off a student line of credit. I have heard of HSBC, Heng Seng, SCB, and Citi...

    My job will begin Dec 1st 2010 and salary approximately 36K/month. Can any one refer me to a place that won't treat me like dirt? (heard lotsa ppl complaining about HSBC on the forums..)

    I'd also like to apply for a credit card; would I be able to apply for the HSBC platinum card?

    Thanks!!


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    969

    HSBC online banking is pretty good (security device provided) I use them for sending money back home.
    But people in Hk open more than one account, I have three.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    188

    Try BEA (Bank of East Asia), I account (its both saving and current current). I have used them for four months and had no problem with them. Fast over sea transaction (next day matter of fact) as i send send money to UK


  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    599

    Personally I would go to Citibank or Standard Chartered. One thing to keep in mind is that HSBC has many customers and their ATM cards can only be used in HSBC and Hang Seng ATMs. So there is usually huge queues for them. Whereas all the other banks in HK can be used in Jetco ATMs, which are basically all the other ATMs apart from HSBC/Hang Seng, so there are many more of them around. I rarely have to queue at an ATM.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    4,986

    If you have cheques to deposit, I would avoid Standard Chartered. We have just moved our main bank a/c from SCB as I was getting really frustrated every month with cheque deposits. This can only be done during bank hours, as they've removed all their ATMS that accept cheques.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Gulf Region, ex Mid-Levels
    Posts
    1,933

    If you are looking for a standard banking service I would think they are broadly similar. The benefit of using a more international bank is that you will find speaking to them a bit easier, they just might have problems in the listening department, especially if you have a complaint.

    Many of the retail bankers here are on very low salaries with high commissions paid for selling the "product de jour", as long as you appreciate that you know what to expect. 5.HK has lots of complaints, but bear in mind they are one of the biggest banks to this audience.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    NY/HK
    Posts
    83

    citibank may not have as many branches, but when you need to talk to them in person, the queue is very reasonable. I rarely have more than 2 people in front of me. the queue for HSBC is just epic long.

    if you can't decide, why not open a few bank accounts? you may want a card with UnionPay, the equivalent of visa/master in china, not all banks offer it but it would be very useful traveling in china.


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    279
    Quote Originally Posted by rani:
    If you have cheques to deposit, I would avoid Standard Chartered. We have just moved our main bank a/c from SCB as I was getting really frustrated every month with cheque deposits. This can only be done during bank hours, as they've removed all their ATMS that accept cheques.
    i agree but i still opted for SCB as transferring $ to another local (hk) bank account online is free of charge, unlike HSBC

    also a few branches i've been to speak good eng and the queues are generally not that long. whereas a few times when i went to HSBC's "Priority banking", the queue was no diff to those who had normal bank accounts

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Gold Coast Marina
    Posts
    17,934

    The only reason, IMHO, to use HSBC is if you qualify for HSBC Premier and have a Premier account in your overseas location too. The free, instant global transfer is fabulous. Everything else is awful.


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    7,868

    Just fyi, Standard Chartered have changed their fee structure last month.

    Priority Banking (same as HSBC Premier) is now free for if you have a mortgage with them with an initial loan drawdown greater than $4m. Its free for the life of the mortgage. If mortgage drawdown is less than $4m, then you need a minimum balance of $500k in your savings account to get for free. If you dont have a mortgage, then if your salary is autopaid into SCB account, you also only need $500k balance (this last one is not new). Failing all that, then you need $1m balance to get the free priority banking service.

    In contrast, HSBC requirement is min $1m regardless of whether you autopay your salary, have a mortgage with them etc. But they do have some promotions offering fee waivers from time to time.

    I've always thought its a bit silly that if you have a mortgage with a bank (ie a huge negative balance), then why do you need to have a positive $1m of cash or investments at the same time. Why cant the bank just look at the overall relationship that you have with them in determining your status. SCB seems to be the more sensible and logical approach to me, so I will continue banking with them.

    I dont really understand why people stick with HSBC. The fact they charge for online local internet transfers but not for writing local cheques is another stupid thing I cannot understand. People are just sheep I guess.


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