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HSBC keeps returning incoming payments - on the verge of ruin. What can I do?

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2020
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    17

    HSBC keeps returning incoming payments - on the verge of ruin. What can I do?

    Hi all

    looking for some urgent advice on how to deal with HSBC.

    Hong Kong registered company, banked with HSBC for years. Last two years have been tough on the business front with very little coming in. Landed a big deal to supply a new customer in the EU, with products from China. This had the potential to be a big long standing customer and the deal was/is extremely time sensitive.

    The Manufacturer in China provided an invoice last week that expired in 2 days, the customer sends a 700k euro deposit before the Easter holidays and the funds appear as incoming and being processed, but are returned a day later. HSBC branch said it was returned due to the sending bank. I inform the customer and they shouts at their bank and re send from another EU bank on Thursday evening HK time before the Easter holiday on Friday.

    I beg my supplier to hold the invoice price for a few more days and unluckily the Easter break is in this period. On Friday The funds appear as incoming being processed. Supplier agrees to hold the price until COB Tuesday. So yesterday (Tuesday) I spend the whole day on the phone to HSBC begging to expedite the processing.

    They give me a bunch of reasons why there’s nothing they can do and after multiple calls, by the late afternoon they tell me that the reason the processing is taking a while is because my account is under review. I go to the branch with all my docs and offer to provide any info about my company or the transaction that they might need. But no one knows anything. I Continue calling all afternoon, being told different versions of the truth, and them saying that they’ll put notes on the system for the relevant team etc, only to be told at 6pm that the payment has been returned. Again. This time because my account is apparently under ‘review’ and therefore can’t receive payments.

    I suspect this could have been the reason the first payment was returned too.

    My customer is furious and thinks my company are unprofessional amateurs. Supplier is on the verge of cancelling the order, and I’m screwed.

    no one notified me of a review, requested any info, or can tell me why the review Is happening or how long it will take, but essentially my account is frozen since I can’t receive wire transfer payments, and I’m losing money.

    Does anyone have any tips on how to get this resolved. Seems it’s impossible to speak to the team doing to the review


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    472

    Interesting. Must have triggered money laundering flags due to the large unusual amount.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2020
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    17

    That’s what I was thinking... but you’d think that they would contact me to ask me for any evidence they might need. I have all the contracts etc. The customer also gave us details of their bank contacts if needed. It’s so devastating to miss out on such a great deal after struggling for so long, and embarrassing for this to happen with a new customer


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    4,693

    near dormant account and a sudden surge of 700K Euro, definitely money laundering flags went up aiya and they wont care about your urgent needs and will take their sweet ass time doing the review unfortunately.

    LonKong likes this.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    17

    Thanks. That really sucks . I guess ending them docs won’t help, especially since I have no idea how to contact the relevant team. I don’t suppose there’s any way to avoid it in future, like tell them in advance when I’m expecting a payment? It just seems like no one you speak to ever really knows what’s going on.


  6. #6

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    If you have a clear conscious consider complaining to HKMA... Money laundering falls within the scope of their supervision and a complaint usually does trigger some attention at the bank.

    https://www.hkma.gov.hk/eng/other-in...ion/contact-us


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    322

    what if you submit your orders and sales contract to the bank?

    LonKong likes this.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Also call this number and let them know that you will be complaining to the HKMA as this is seriously affecting your business.

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    LonKong and markranson like this.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    17

    I fully intend to make a complaint to HKMA. It looks like their hotline is closed at the moment, so will have to write a letter.

    I’m just holding out hope in the meantime that There might be some way to salvage this current deal.


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    17

    Happy to send the sales contracts and all our documents, but apparently the review team is internal and the customer service people can’t have any direct contact with them. They can only leave them messages on the system. Took all the docs to the branch yesterday but hey had no idea what to do with them.


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