Before we get started, this post is long and it's a rant. So you have been warned.
The TL;DR summary is that can't seem to transfer money from HSBC HK to Swissquote Luxembourg.
As some of you know one of the brokerages we use was Internaxx in Luxembourg. This was all fine, and we were able to transfer USD from HSBC HK to Internaxx no problem.
Swissquote bought Internaxx earlier this year and its now called Swissquote Bank Europe (Swissquote Lu). Swissquote also has a brokerage operation in Switzerland, but they operate separately.
With the change from Internaxx to Swissquote Lu the bank transfer details and SWIFT code details changed. This is where things went pear shaped.
We set up the transfer details via HSBC's online transfer section and seemed to be fine, the SWIFT code was recognised. However we made a transfer and it got rejected on the basis that there was no correspondent bank details. Had to pay a fee for the rejected transfer of about USD100.
After a lot of back and forth between HSBC and Swissquote Lu I was told the following from Swissquote Lu:
"You might also want to inform any bank from which you are planning to send funds that we have informed all SWIFT Networks on 2 occasions (18/05- MT074 and 19/05-MT670&671) with the change of name, change of BIC and change of SSI (Standard Settlement Instructions). You might also want to forward our standard settlement instructions (attached to this email) to your bank, however please don't use these details by yourself. They are only for your bank to make sure that the cash transfer will route through the correct correspondent banks."
Swissquote Lu provided me with full correspondent bank account details which they asked me to forward onto HSBC. HSBC refused to accept them saying that I had to put the information in myself and also stated the following:
"If you would like to make a fresh USD TT, please refer to the beneficiary's bank and correspondence bank's information provided by the beneficiary's bank. When you place a new TT instruction, you can specify the correspondence bank's information under 'Message to recipient bank' field.
I would like to explain that our overseas payment instructions sent by SWIFT MT103. I refer to the provided messages, if you would like to make a TT to the beneficiary's bank again, please also contact the beneficiary's bank to confirm whether they can receive TT instruction via MT103. If MT103 can be accepted, please further confirm their USD correspondence bank to receive USD TT. However, if they are unable to accept MT103, I am afraid that it is not feasible to make a TT to the beneficiary's bank."
Swissquote Lu confirmed that they accept TT instructions via MT103, which Swissquote confirmed they did. HSBC further went on to say the following:
Since we have limited information about the routing of the overseas transfer. May I know if the payee bank need the fix inter bank to receive the money? I could understand your concern. As the information we have, when the transaction is made by us, we will use the information which is provided by customers to submit the instruction.Maybe you could ask the payee bank which information is necessary for receiving money from us."
Swissquote then provided me with more updated correspondent bank details, which again HSBC said that I had to figure out myself.
HSBC's international transfer form doesn't show or allow you to show correspondent bank account information, which is very much annoying. I was however able to include the correspondent bank details in the "Message to Payee" information where I put in the correspondent bank address and account number. In the section "Message to payee's bank" I included the correspondent bank SWIFT code.
I sent a copy of the transfer details to Swissquote Lu and they confirmed the information was correct.
I followed up about 5 days after they confirmed the details were correct. Swissquote stated the following:
"The funds have been received, however, the beneficiary has been quoted as Swissquote and not your own name.
We have contacted HSBC to confirm and await a response. If we do not get a response in the next few days, the funds will be returned to them.
If this happens and you wish to re-send the funds to us, please ask HSBC to use your name in field 59 of the SWIFT instruction. This is an absolute necessity."
After about 2 months of back and forth the money FINALLY got through.
I then tried to do another transfer earlier this month based on the previous details I had. Unfortunately the transfer hasn't gone through AGAIN. HSBC at their end say the transfer has gone through and Swissquote Lu say they haven't received it yet.
Swissquote are saying I need to follow up with HSBC and HSBC are saying I need to follow up with Swissquote so I'm stuck in an infinite loop from hell again.
This is what Swissquote says:
"Please let me reassure you that following the change to Swissquote nothing has really changed apart from the name of our Bank and the platform (including the payment details of our clients).
The things that have lately and currently influenced the situation much more are the recent stricten regulations, the current pandemic and without wanting to put a blame or discredit on another Bank the fact that HSBC (understandably due to the same reasons) has seen a lot of issues, delays rejections with their international payment services over months now.
Finally please note that our Bank is on the Receiving side and so we cannot influence the speed of a transfer or influence a rejection because it was wrongly instructed or the delay caused by a Correspondent / Intermediary Bank in the chain."
"Also we would like to reassure you that the funds have not vanished but they have to be stuck with a Correspondent or Intermediary Bank in the chain (as HSBC claims that the funds are not with them and our Bank can confirm that funds are not with us either). The normal practice (set by the EU legislation, Apacs and other foreign legislation) in a situation like yours is that the Sending Bank is under the obligation to start an investigation and to trace the funds."
I have been trying to correspond with both Swissquote and HSBC for the past week or so but neither response via email / messaging and its been impossible to get hold of them via phone (for clarification this is with my wife's Swissquote and HSBC accounts and she isn't HSBC premier. She refuses to upgrade to HSBC premier or change bank accounts, so that's a whole other conversation but not for this time).
I should also add I / my wife has never had an issue with doing an international bank transfer with HSBC before and overall their fees for international TT is reasonable (not the cheapest, but also not the most expensive).
So at the moment I am totally frustrated at what to do. Each bank is blaming the other and the money remains stuck.
I understand we can ask HSBC to run a trace on the money but this will cost around USD100 and will take a few weeks.
Anyway, rant over. Any suggestions on this?