HSBC’s Conspiracy of Dunces to Stop Wire Transfers

A coherent rant about trying to wire money through HSBC, over their seemingly deep objections. It’s a redtape streamered, Kafka’s “The Trial”-esque implosion of customer service… a banking failure so perfect in its unlogic, it’s almost a work of art. “Gari”, who’s chosen to represent himself online as Zod from Superman 2, sent in the following:

“Crazy but true. HSBC seems to be going to impressive lengths to prevent you from shifting you money about. I stroll into HSBC Union Square, New York (yes, the one near the new Trader Joe’s) this morning, expecting to wire some money to my HSBC account in the UK (as I’ve been doing the last five or so years, at TWENTY-FIVE BUCKS A POP, but that’s another story). So, Customer Service lady, could I have one of your wire transfer forms, I need to send some money overseas. “Oh we don’t do that anymore, you’ll need to do that on the telephone.” “Well Customer Service lady, I don’t have an access code, might I do this online?” ‘Sure’.”

But of course, it’s not as easy as that… Read more after the jump.

“Needless to say, there is so way to transfer money out of the country with internet banking. So I call Mumbai. No pass code, so I need to get one mailed to me, but they will at least answer my question. “How do I wire money overseas, Chrissie from Mumbai?” “You’ll need to do this from a branch, or by telephone.” “Awesome, I’d like to send some money to your colleagues in the UK right now!” “Oh no, you’ll need a telephone access code for that.” The access code, ya know, that’s being mailed to me.

Back to Union Square we go. Customer Service lady has been replaced by a piece of paper saying “Go to the back of the branch.” I loiter at the back waiting for them to finish selling people mortgages. The man in front of me also wants to wire some money – good news we can both get questions answered super quick. “You’ll need to get a form from Customer Service.” “They’re a piece of paper right now, can you help us?” Apparently not. “Oh, we need two people with high enough authorisation to conduct a wire transfer. You’ll need to go to another branch.” “Could I just leave the form with you, I’ll be travelling the next few days.” “Is your account with this branch?” “No, it’s with one of your branches in Midtown.” “Oh, we can’t do this for you. You’ll need to go up to that branch” “You’ve done this for me before.” “That was probably a one-off exception. See if your account details are wrong, then your money could be stuck floating forever.”

It is now 3:55pm. HSBC’s world of financial services just ‘fessed up to running its business with tin cans and wires. Any recommendations for least sucky bank in NYC?

Gari N. Corp