It’s Your Money and I Want It Now
August 21, 2012
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HG Wentworth has nothing on HSBC. I’ve bitched before about the steady and persistent decline in the interest rate of my HSBC account. Yes, I’d recently gotten two more notices since that post, dropping to .50%, then to .40%. That was pretty bad, and I resolved to finally close the account. HSBC must have read my mind, because not only did they want to get rid of me, they wanted to shove me out the door.
It’s been the whole premise of online bank accounts that it’s cheaper for a bank to offer, so they can offer better rates. This is apparently not the case with HSBC. For the benefit of better rates, the inherent limitation of having an online account is that you can’t directly access the money, so you have to do EFT transfers in and out. This is the way they work.
So, imagine my surprise when HSBC announced a change to their online account. A new name, HSBC Advance Online Savings, and new fees. One of the fees is levied when you transfer money into the account. Let me repeat that because it is so incredulous: into the account. You, as an account holder, will pay HSBC to receive money for an online account. And it’s not a nuisance fee either, like $1 or $2. It costs a full $12 to deposit money into your account – every time you transfer funds in.
I’ve done other rants about the supposed “cost” of electronic transfers, specifically with credit cards. But I can’t see any way HSBC customers are going to tolerate paying the equivalent of a decent meal for the ability to deposit money. And not only that, it’s being deposited in an account that is far from competitive in terms of interest rates. I suspect that HSBC online account holders are going to flee en masse, unless HSBC can convert them to some other account type. But why would you convert to another account with them after such a long period of abuse?