DEAR GOOD SE1 ERS
I would like to share with you an appalling experience I have had with HSBC London Bridge. Of course this is based on my experience and hopefully none of you have had anything but good ones.
I have had accounts at HSBC London Bridge for 13 yrs. One current account, two savings. I in that time have had reason to make four complaints one about internet banking (my account was defrauded internally- complaint upheld and monies eventually paid back with £150 compensation) Two about the branch both upheld and the later one kindly and sweetly compensated by sending me two bottles of wine- however these were stolen in the post- but that was not the banks fault- and the post has it's own war and peace posting elsewhere on the forum! And the one about the branch I am going to rant about now;
Some weeks ago in changing my credit card - it was essential I get a creditated passport. Sure you all know what this is- I didn't. But was advised I could get a copy of my passport signed to say the photo was me, at any bank, doctors, solicitors etc.
I went into my bank the HSBC and was advised they would do it, but I would have to wait 55 mins for anyone 'upstairs' to see me.
I awaited upstairs with many other customers- infact I only waited about 35 mins as others kindly said as you only need a quick signature you may as well go in first. ( see there are some very kind people in se 1)
They nor I banked on what was to follow.
On going into a 'booth' the member of staff on hearing i simply needed a signature asked for my bank card. He then on having it went into my account and said curtly 'you are not applying for any of our products- I am not creditating this- if you are not applying for a HSBC product'.
I explained I had been waiting some time, I was told it was going to be done and this was my branch. He then, with what I can only describe as snarling agression said, 'this is not your branch- you do not have a branch'. I then produced my cheque book with my branch address on it- to which he said 'that means nothing!. I asked to see a manager- he then disapeared for 20 mins ish. He came back and said- Nobody will see you ( I was not convinced he tried) I said I am going to make a formal complaint- he said ' I don't care'.
I left the branch- went to a nearby high st bank that I have no account or products with- they creditated the passport instantly with no issue.
I made my complaint to head office- it was ignored- two weeks later I chased it up and eventually I got a call from the asssistant manager- he was very defensive- and said he was going to check the CCTV to see how long I was in the branch- I said he was welcome to- but that was not really the point- he said he would get back to me straight away. 10 days later nothing. I rang HSBC Head Office Complaints, they said there was a letter on the system but they could not access it and tried to get through the bank but could not. They promised me a call back. That phone call was i hr 5 mins. No call back and over the next weeks- I sent two emails to the head office both received (read read receipts) but ignored. On ringing again, another hour long phone call-again - head office complaints could not get me through to the branch and the operative accused me of having someone listening in on my call-I didn't- but even if I did, what was the point?
Some days later I got a phone call from the manager, he said he was going to print the letter and send it and he was going to get someone from head office to call me, re my treatment there-this never happened.
I got the letter. Firstly the ass. manger said they had checked the CCTV and I was only in the branch 20 mins- this is rubbish- but not the point of the complaint- he said what they were doing about it was confidential- then in the second page of the letter it was obvious it was either somebody elses letter or they had c an ced into a template because it made no sense at all. It was pped by an unknown signature.
Again I emailed twice the head office re this- it was ignored I made another hour long call and eventually got a letter from the manager saying saying he was going to review things, I noted the refernace for this letter was FREECUSTOMER! The very next day I received a letter from the manger saying- as we cannot provide the service you require we are shutting down all your accounts and under our terms and conditions we are giving you two monthes notice to take your banking elsewhere.
Shocked- I rang the FSA- they said (and their operative said he was flalbberghasted) that there was no term and condition mentioned in my letter as it should have been- and their terms and conditions for closure were things like fraud, abuse etc. There is a clause that says HSBC can close your account for any reason with two momthes notice- but he thought that was very questionbably vague. He advised me to write to the head office and get a final resposne I have sent two emails that have been ignored. So now I have to go ahead to the FSA without it.
I have read on the internet- that the HSBC have had formal warnings from the FSA re complaint handling. What could be easier to change statistics than to shut down accounts of those who complain.
Of course they have done me a favour ( tiresome as it is) Who would be with a bank that treats it's long term customers so appallingly. I opened a new account very easily and the bank I opened with even paid me £100 to join them. And even sorted our my direct debits etc.
In that I am not saying all the staff at The HSBC are vile- some have been very helpful over the years esp. a lovely lady called KIM who has been there along time.
But A FISH ROTS FROM THE HEAD DOWN dosen't it?
no millions and I am self employed with no loans, mortgages or credit cards with them. On the other hand a good customer, as no abuse on the account or debt= they were not making enough money out of me.
Thanks I will end the bullet points to Money Box
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I have actually been corosponding with the CEO at HSBC though not responded to.(except read receipts)
I plan to write by recorded delivery to him the FSA and The Housing Ombudsman- not particually because I am going to get anything out of it but so the correct info is kept on the banks practices
The whole thing is a disgrace but I am so much better out if it. Thanks for all your support
Final response (they claim) came from The Manager at HSBC London Bridge- they apologise for my further disatisfaction and they are shutting down all my accounts as 'the banking relationship between us has broken down',
I think I have communicated pretty fairly and well- must mean in bank speak- if you complain and we don't make much money from you-sling your hook.
Anyway at least I can go to the relevent bodies now and be done with them