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Another HSBC Rant

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  1. #1
    bdw
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    Another HSBC Rant

    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.


  2. #2

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    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.
    For what it is worth - better to open the account at the main branch. Takes some time - a few days - to get the appointment, but they're far more experienced at these scenarios than HSBC (or most other bank) branches.

    Don't tell them anything more or less than what the question demands... answer with yes & no and nothing more, whenever you can.
    bdw, Andy SNK, tf19 and 6 others like this.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by bdw
    I think I'll just ask my wife to go herself and open the account, just say she's moving to Australia
    Why do you even need to volunteer this info ?
    I have opened a joint account with HSBC Singapore last month (out of the international team here in HK main building, I dealt with them in the past and found them quite good) and they did not ask me anything about why I wanted this account.
    "Sign the papers, go home, we'll call you when the account is open."
    shri, Paxbritannia, Loz_2 and 2 others like this.

  4. #4

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    Hahaha.. Why on earth you would tell a bank you want to open an account to avoid tax in Australia!! That too knowing AML hoopla these days!! That too with HSBC!!! Real titanium balls..


  5. #5
    bdw
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrkob
    Why do you even need to volunteer this info ?
    I have opened a joint account with HSBC Singapore last month (out of the international team here in HK main building, I dealt with them in the past and found them quite good) and they did not ask me anything about why I wanted this account.
    "Sign the papers, go home, we'll call you when the account is open."
    I think I made the mistake going to a local branch without the wife, actually my intention was to just ask a few questions about the fees and charges for the share trading, some other minor details, and probably make an appointment to come back with the wife later to set everything up (wasn't sure if needed to make an appointment or not and just popped in to ask). But after showing my HKID, saying it will be for my wife rather than me, the lady got all confused asking why I am not upgrading my account to Premier etc and then I never got to ask the basic questions I wanted to ask, she just ran away and came back accusing me of unethical behaviour etc. They really know how to get people worked up and annoyed.

    You guys are probably right, will get the wife to go another branch herself and try another tactic this time, giving as little information as possible.

  6. #6

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    Most likely she could not digest 100% of your information, only caught some words like tax, lower amount, australia, bla bla bla..
    only provide information they needed, like @shri mentioned, only answer the question with yes and no. Good luck.

    bdw likes this.

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    why I am not upgrading my account to Premier
    Tell them because you want a separate account for investments and not for day to day use.

    By the way, the first step is to open a LOCAL premier account. Once you have funded that, setup an appointment with the international banking team. Your local RM is most likely to be less helpful than a paper weight.

  8. #8
    bdw
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    Quote Originally Posted by nivantj
    Hahaha.. Why on earth you would tell a bank you want to open an account to avoid tax in Australia!! That too knowing AML hoopla these days!! That too with HSBC!!! Real titanium balls..
    She started digging in why I want to setup for the wife and not myself and I guess that's the cause of all the hoohaa. But I am not trying to avoid tax in Australia, I am trying to legally minimise my taxes

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by bdw
    She started digging in why I want to setup for the wife and not myself and I guess that's the cause of all the hoohaa. But I am not trying to avoid tax in Australia, I am trying to legally minimise my taxes
    It's a bit of semantics thing, but I thought that avoidance was fine. It's tax evasion that's illegal?
    bdw, AsianXpat0 and greenmark like this.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgl
    It's a bit of semantics thing, but I thought that avoidance was fine. It's tax evasion that's illegal?
    Avoidance/evasion all same same for front line staff la!! Tax/Foreign/Leaving so many red flags in once sentence.. Probably why you want to give more money to wife while you are still on Advance!!!

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