Bastards: An experience with HSBC

Catharthic closure of my banking relationship *

So you've been a customer of a big bank for over 10 years, with a relatively smooth experience. Then you get a letter in the mail telling you that the account which you've been using for business for that period is "being used in breach of the terms of the account, because we have noticed that you are using it for business purposes".

Let me see, this is the account I opened after providing evidence of my Australian Business Number and my registered business names, and after paying a search fee to the bank for their business record verification procedures, but it could not in fact be used for business? Fascinating isn't it. (Not quite the term I actually used on the day I got the letter.)

Someone suggested to me that I probably exceeded the number of transactions or cashflow that the bank was willing to permit for such an account, though none of that is officially defined. The bank's response to a very sharp complaint from me was to refer me to a clause which basically says "we can shut down any account we like anytime we like". Now that's a Fuck You if ever there was one. (They didn't even try to upsell to a big fat fee-laden business account.)

And just in case you still feel tempted to become an HSBC customer, be warned that their message and phone-based customer service is often awful, with significant delays (often weeks) before you get a response to anything beyond the simplest of enquiries.

(* Yes, the photo is rotated for formatting purposes. 😛 The flame should be vertical.)

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