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Another HSBC Rant

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  1. #21
    bdw
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    Quote Originally Posted by traineeinvestor
    I must be the only person on this planet who's always had good service from HSBC?
    Well I'm sure I'm not the only person on the planet to storm out of a HSBC branch totally pissed off and driven to madness . I don't know why I subject myself to this torture, I just thought the global view feature would be a nice thing to have, and they seem to have a promo now with no commission on buy trades till Dec 31st so a good time to transfer from SC to HSBC now, or so I thought

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by bdw
    Well I'm sure I'm not the only person on the planet to storm out of a HSBC branch totally pissed off and driven to madness . I don't know why I subject myself to this torture, I just thought the global view feature would be a nice thing to have, and they seem to have a promo now with no commission on buy trades till Dec 31st so a good time to transfer from SC to HSBC now, or so I thought
    I guess we all need a bank to hate (DBS and their non-existent on line access is my #1 pet peeve - I'm looking forward to severing that relationship as soon as I've paid off a few mortgages - followed by BOCHK's long long long waiting times for counter service).

  3. #23

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    No need to go into complexities of tax arrangements in another jurisdiction. If asked why you're opening an account for your wife, say you want to make sure she has her own account, and you're there to help make things easier for her.

    Do you even need to tell them you're transfering shares, since after all, she's going to get cash and then buy them all back?

    If they find out the source of funds is from you, say that you want to give your wife money that she can call her own and has autonomy over, to make sure she knows she's ok no matter what happens. If challenged on why not joint account, repeat. And say you think it's important in a marriage the wife has assets in her own name that she has sole control over.

    traineeinvestor, bdw and Andy SNK like this.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paxbritannia
    Always keep things simple with the banks and don't volunteer too much information, otherwise you risk causing confusion.
    At the risk of digressing,

    (Disclaimer: I am British Born Ethnic Chinese).

    You have to realise that a LOT of HK. Chinese people can only process a bite of information at once, a certain department (and even our line managers) on whom which my colleagues and I greatly depend and contact almost daily need all of our information in chunks (Chinese/ English) and I don't work for a bank. You can't explain things the same way you would to any other person in your home countries. Even if you think that what you are saying to them is perfectly pared down to the bare bone essentials, there is every chance that even in Cantonese it's overloading them with information. This particular department is very surly and rude about the fact that they are essentially simpletons.

    Please contrast the following examples:

    Most people:

    " I have guests here at XYZ. Hotel who would like to join our AM. ABC. tour tomorrow please, 2 adults 1 child, can you please tell me when they will return to this hotel tomorrow night."

    Department in question: (requires chunking)

    "I am calling from XYZ. Hotel."
    "I have three guests."
    "2 adults 1 child"
    "The child is XXX years old."
    "They wish to join the ABC tour tomorrow."
    "It's the morning ABC. tour"
    "Can you please tell me what time they will return to the hotel tomorrow?"
    "They don't want to get back too late."
    Cue surly and rude questions about my ability to remember the return times for over 7 different hotels.
    Cue phone being slammed down.
    AsianXpat0 likes this.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by bdw
    Warning this is another rant about HSBC. But I am so pissed off at the moment and need to let off some steam.

    Most of my banking is with Standard Chartered, but I thought I would open a Premier account with HSBC mainly because they have this 'global view' function that is of interest to me, I am moving to Australia in a few months, also I want to open the account in my wifes name, she can get an HSBC AU account easier, I would sell HK$1m of HK shares I hold with Standard Chartered now and my wife would buy again with HSBC in her name and this is how we would maintain the minimum relationship balance to avoid any fees. Also since my salary higher than hers, we both will become Australian tax residents soon, means its better the shares we hold in HK are in her name and not mine, we both would have to pay Australian tax on any dividends and capital gains, but she would pay at a lower tax bracket than me.

    I told everything above to the HSBC lady in branch this morning. She went away, came back 15 minutes later, said sorry it doesnt meet ethical standards and told me to leave. I said what? She said I am trying to avoid Australian tax. I said no its a normal thing for married couples in Australia to apportion their assets equally to save on tax but I am not avoiding anything. She went away for another 15 minutes and came back and again rejected me on the grounds I am trying to avoid taxes.

    I got pissed off with her. I asked who she was talking to for 30 minutes and are they experts in Australian taxes? Why they are accusing me of unethical behaviour when it is perfectly legal and normal way for married couples to handle their finances when they are Australian tax residents. My finanical advisor in Australia advised me to set up our finances in this way. In Australia it's beneficial for the lower salary earner to hold more of the family assets. Anyway, she works for a bloody HK bank and I don't expect her to know all these things but at the same time I don't expect her to accuse me of unethical behaviour she knows nothing about.

    I got her name and number in writing, I said i am really annoyed with her and whoever she was talking to on the phone and being accused of unethical behaviour. I told her I am going to complain to someone (geoexpat.com ). She wet her pants and told me to sit down and she would ask someone else. She ran off somewhere and I waited for a few more minutes but got really tired of this so I just walked out the door without waiting for her to come back.

    Probably this was my mistake telling her too much at the beginning. I think I'll just ask my wife to go herself and open the account, just say she's moving to Australia and wants the global view/share trading account/AU bank account and don't say any more than this. Surely this should be fine, but who knows with this bank they really know how to piss people off.
    Someone needs to this this lady the different between tax avoidance and tax evasion. What you were planning is perfectly legal, sensible and reasonable tax/estate planning - done legitimately by hundreds of thousands of couples in jurisdictions with simialr laws - the UK is another.

    I would have got seriously upset and demanded to see her supervisor and escalated this up the chain. It's one thing to refuse you service, it's another thing to declare you a tax cheat and refuse you service. All kinds of ugly, from a position of sheer ignorance too.
    bdw and AsianXpat0 like this.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit
    I would have got seriously upset and demanded to see her supervisor and escalated this up the chain.
    The good folks of this forum will have no difficulty believing this .

    My good friend you of all people know how these firms work. From a practical point of view when he shows up to the Main Building IBC team, suggest this australian OP to just knuckle under and tell the RM he needs an HSBC AU account to pay for his expenses back home. Quick, painless, no need to escalate anything. He'll be out in an hour.
    bdw, traineeinvestor, shri and 2 others like this.

  7. #27

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    The point is he shouldn't need to know the ons and outs of how to best achieve his goals - a decent company should be client focused and deliver the same endpoint regardless of how he gets in contact - local branch, main branch, phone, RM whatever.

    This should hold true at every level, not just "Premier"


  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit
    a decent company should be client focused and deliver the same endpoint regardless of how he gets in contact - local branch, main branch, phone, RM whatever.
    Of course TB but I don't think this is the point. The point is regrettably we all have to deal with the actual practicalities of this wonderful banking system we enjoy here in HK. Especially with this particular bank.

    Personally I am in the same boat as traineeinvestor, I knuckle under and get things done. Not everything, just a lot of it. Yes, it takes to know the ons and outs of how to best achieve this. It isn't right, I agree with you, but it is practical and it works (well, at least for me).
    shri likes this.

  9. #29

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    @bdw

    So I opened an account at a Chinese bank this morning and I basically declined everything to keep it simple. Took about 35 minutes.
    one line staff to do most of the data collection and entry and two additional verification checks from more senior staff.
    I walked out with HK current and savings account plus a multi currency account.

    I provided
    HKID hardcopy and
    address proof hardcopy and EVERYTHING ELSE was whatever i said

    phone number whatever i said
    email address whatever i said
    income whatever i said
    why open account whatever i said
    how much money going in and out each month whatever i said, etc.

    They offered to do things like open me up at a higher tier, open account in China etc. I declined everything said - let's just open the account today and can add on other stuff if required in the future.

    bdw likes this.

  10. #30
    bdw
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    Quote Originally Posted by chichow
    @bdw

    So I opened an account at a Chinese bank this morning and I basically declined everything to keep it simple. Took about 35 minutes.
    one line staff to do most of the data collection and entry and two additional verification checks from more senior staff.
    I walked out with HK current and savings account plus a multi currency account.

    I provided
    HKID hardcopy and
    address proof hardcopy and EVERYTHING ELSE was whatever i said

    phone number whatever i said
    email address whatever i said
    income whatever i said
    why open account whatever i said
    how much money going in and out each month whatever i said, etc.

    They offered to do things like open me up at a higher tier, open account in China etc. I declined everything said - let's just open the account today and can add on other stuff if required in the future.
    Thanks, yeah I will get my wife to go and do something similar. But I want the premier level, share trading account, open an account with HSBC Australia at the same time, and the global view function that goes along with it. So I might get a few more questions along the way but try to keep it simple

    Just for background, I have some AUD investments in HK now paying me small AUD dividends every month. I want to send AUD to AUD in my Australian bank account. I use instarem to transfer HKD to AUD which is great, but it cannot do AUD to AUD. So my end goal is to get this global view function from HSBC to make small AUD transfers and get the funds into my local Aus bank account without so many TT fees etc. Putting in my wifes name just another tactic for family tax/estate purposes as TheBrit pointed out. But I would just do everything with Standard Chartered if they had something like the global view function.

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