>> wtf are they handling? ive worked in a bank before...and trust me...there aint nothin to handle...
>> most of the banks do not accept US checks for deposit. The ones that do charge a fee for deposit called "handeling fee".
Ok. For once ... this is a wind up.
If you've worked for a bank, you know that a bank is not under obligation to take a check, specially US$ checks that have been issued from US$ checking accounts.
US Federal laws come into play and one of them is that the issuing bank can decline a check several months after the money has been paid if they discover fraud. The statute of limitations is unlimited as far as I know for US government checks.
Overseas banks take a fair amount of risk under that law by accepting a check from an unknown party. You could technically deposit forged or fraudulent checks and several months later during audits etc .. the money can be claimed back by the issuer / issuing bank (say you modified a check from a company and it was caught in an audit a month or two after it was cleared).
HSBC is the toughest in town to deal with.
>> What are they handling?
If they're compliant with Check 21, the handling fees is paying for the compliance and the technology.
If they're not compliant with Check 21, the check has to be sent into the federal clearing systems and processed.
Thanks to anal US money laundering laws, the amount of work done increases if the check is over $10K.
>> but have a bank account in USA, and bills to pay in USA
Transfer the money electronically via online banking. HSBC's powervantage account has the facility to transfer overseas in a number of currencies.
By the way, have you EVER tried to deposit a Hong Kong dollar check at your local bank in the US? Have you tried to get them to issue you a HKD check? Or wait, even something unexotic as a EUR check?
For someone who claims to have worked for a bank... there is a LOT of ignorance about how banks work. At the end of the day, they're not a charity and your exotic demands either have to be backed by a well funded account or charges that they tell you up front (if you bothered to read their charges / rates) before you open an account.
PLEASE .. don't get me started about the whole "hong kong is not an international city" .. unlike anywhere that I've lived in the US (and I've lived in many places), I can walk into a bank with an overseas check and actually expect them to recognise the currency and accept it, even if its grudgingly ...