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HSBC -world’s local bank?

  • City: Dubai
  • Listed: October 17, 2010 4:51 pm
HSBC -world’s local bank?


HSBC’s bold claim that it is the world’s local bank is very believable with the ads they broadcast on TVs and the glossy magazine prints, but after my recent experience with HSBC, it is my opinion that all this is merely marketing speak that does not entirely reflect the true nature of their services. Here’s my story.

I called up HSBC personal banking contact number 600 55 4722 from the UAE on the 16th of Oct at around 8AM in the morning to inquire about one of their International offerings – setup of overseas bank account. I was seeking information on establishing a bank account in Australia.

I opted to speak to a customer representative using the IVR system and I had to stay on the line for literally 8-12 minutes before I got connected to the agent. After inquiring about the service, I was told that I had to call the NRI (Non-Resident Indian) services number to obtain the required information. Although I was hesitant as the response didn’t quite seem right, I did go ahead and take down the number.

The NRI-services number (toll-free) was instantly answered and I put forward my query to the agent (based in India). To my surprise I was told that I would need to call the HSBC customer services in Australia to obtain the required information and that the NRI services hotline cannot help with that. I stressed that I had just returned from Australia and that the Customer Services team could not help me to setup an account and advised that I do that from UAE itself (the Oz team simply would not accept my bank statement with a PO BOX number and required a street address even after trying to explain that street mailboxes do not exist in the UAE!). Poor chap could do nothing else for me which lead me to once again call the local UAE number 600 55 4722 to try my luck with another agent as I was getting nowhere.

This time around my call is answered by the local agent and I receive different information altogether. The agent appeared to be aware of the product offering and provided me the contact number for the Premier and Int’l banking section and was informed that only two branches of HSBC in Dubai offer this service. I thanked the agent for the assistance and called up the number provided. The phone rings and is answered within 5 seconds. I once again put forward my query and to my surprise my call is disconnected – not sure whether this was deliberate or accidental. I keep my patience and call up the same number again and this time the agent forwards me call to another person who knew exactly what I talking about but had no information on what the requirements are for setting up the required account. I was told that the bank would revert back to me with the required information at the earliest via email (I requested for info via email)…

I spent about 40 minutes on the phone and about 20 minutes browsing the HSBC website for the required information and I still have nothing on the table. Looking forward to the email from HSBC ……

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One Response to “HSBC -world’s local bank?”


    Five (5!) business days have passed and guess what — I never received that email from HSBC with the information I was looking for (no call either!). Guess this tells the state of customer service of the so-called “world” bank. All the best HSBC!

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