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.