Unable to recover my funds on HSBC unused account

Nikiya Forumite Posts: 546
Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
I have a savings account with HSBC which I have not used for 8 years.
I have been trying to transfer my funds to my present account with a different bank, which I opened at the time I stopped operating with HSBC.
They keep sending me messages to my email, but they come from a ¨no reply¨ address.
I have contacted them on the phone but they have asked me questions I have not been able to reply, like ¨what previous address we have for you¨.
I have lived in the same address for 25 years, so from before I opened my account with them and so I told them.
I could not remember at the time my exact previous address and do not know which reply they expected.
So now they tell me I have to go to a branch.
They have closed the local branch long ago and I would rather not go to a branch anyway since I am shielding due to a serious health condition. 
I have told them so but you only get through to a foreign call center whose agents just follow a list of prompts.
The ¨chat¨on their site is virtual, so again a faceless machine with limited possibilities.
So all their ¨friendly¨ invitations lead you to a cul de sac. Except, perhaps, the visit in person, which I´d rather avoid.
The bottom line is they have been sitting on my money for 8 years and I cannot recover it.
I have lived and the same address and had the same landline telephone for 25 years. I have the card number, account number and all the information in the statements they send me but apparently that is not enough to identify me.
Not for the first time I find myself at the mercy of a robotic system which is only useful for those who know how to work it, not necessarily the right people.
Have thought about resorting to RESOLVER.
Thanks for any advice.


  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Forumite Posts: 27,375
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    If the issue is that you have one of the HSBC savings products that can only be accessed via one of their current accounts, then would you be able to open a current account with them online, even if just temporarily in order to transfer your savings?  Not necessarily ideal, but perhaps pragmatic?
  • retiredbanker1
    retiredbanker1 Forumite Posts: 94
    10 Posts Name Dropper
    There is a good chance if the account has not been touched for 8 years it has been marked as dormant. If this is the case check their website to see their procedures for reinstating this account.
  • SiliconChip
    SiliconChip Forumite Posts: 1,008
    500 Posts First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited 19 August at 9:07AM
    Don't bother with Resolver, they won't do anything you can't do yourself and it'll just add to the time it takes for you to get access to your money. I'd suggest that you write a letter to HSBC, explaining your reasons for not wanting to go to a branch, you might get lucky and have it read by somebody with a bit of common sense.
    For what it's worth, HSBC seem to have an unusually short dormancy period, it says here typically 2 years.
    For contrast, Barclays say an account is dormant if it's unused for 15 years. They also seem to have a more user friendly means of reactivating a dormant account than HSBC do.
  • Nikiya
    Nikiya Forumite Posts: 546
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Thanks Siliconechip. 
    That is what my husband has suggested. Unfortunately common sense is a rare find these days.
    Yes, my account is "frozen", I thought I had said that, and no, their directions to access it do not work. 
    I have tried.
  • xylophone
    xylophone Forumite Posts: 42,563
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    no, their directions to access it do not work. 
    I have tried.


    The situation

    If you’d like to reactivate a frozen account

    Before we reactivate your account, we'll need to check your details are up to date, including your ID and address. Once it’s up and running again, just make a transaction and continue using it regularly to keep it active.
    You can:
    • call us on 03457 404 404 - we may need to ask you some security questions to confirm your identity if you do not regularly use phone banking 
    • visit us in branch with your account details (as shown in your cheque book, statement or other correspondence from us), some acceptable ID that will help us identify you and a proof of your address 

    seems closest to yours - they have given you their standard requirements with which you are unable/unwilling to comply.

    A formal letter seems the next step?

  • Bradden
    Bradden Forumite Posts: 971
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    it doesn't seem unreasonable for the bank to want to check who you are considering the length of time the account has been dormant. I'd be pleased that they are taking security of your cash seriously.
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