Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Ajp
    • By Ajp 8th Jan 16, 10:50 AM
    • 1Posts
    • 2Thanks
    Ajp
    hsbc 'Safeguard' letter
    • #1
    • 8th Jan 16, 10:50 AM
    hsbc 'Safeguard' letter 8th Jan 16 at 10:50 AM
    HI,
    I've just had a letter from my bank, HSBC, introducing 'Safeguard', which they say is a fraud protection measure. They request I 'update' and 'confirm' the details they hold on me. My objections are:
    1. Everything they know about me is up to date and I could simply tell them this.
    2. The questions they want to 'update' include lots of info they DONT currently have about me, such as the name of my employer and whether I'm a company director or not.
    They are demanding return of this form in 7 days. Has anyone else had a similar letter? I'm disinclined to tell them anything about me they don't need to know and I've had an account there for 25 years without them knowing any of this information.
Page 6
    • mt99
    • By mt99 17th Sep 17, 9:58 PM
    • 462 Posts
    • 231 Thanks
    mt99
    Yes 33p a litre that's why I joined this forum to see if I can find it cheaper elsewhere
    • bigadaj
    • By bigadaj 17th Sep 17, 10:28 PM
    • 10,819 Posts
    • 7,147 Thanks
    bigadaj
    Your electricity company can't cut you off - you can have as many cfas markers against you as you want but you will still be provided with the electricity Gas water and air.

    There should be the same entitlement to a bank account. you should be allowed to have a bank account pretty much no matter what you do of course you don't have to be offered an overdraft, interest, advice on where to invest your money, a debit card, a chequebook or anything else however you should be allowed as a basic human right to have an account into which you can receive money and pay your gas bill
    Originally posted by mt99
    All utility providers can cut you off, it would be rare for water but not for electricity or gas, there are provision in place to protect the vulnerable.
    • nicklear
    • By nicklear 27th Sep 17, 4:32 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    nicklear
    The Times has also written about this now (google "Pressure mounts over HSBC debacle"

    I am now limited to £50 / day limit at ATM which I think is one step away from being cut off. And I am complying with all requests, I am just deemed high risk as an ex-pat. But thanks to this thread I am not so stressed about it - the thing that really bothered me was them not being straight with me and continuously pretending they were trying to "safeguard" me. Now I know why they are doing it, and that has taken the sting out of it. I have another bank account and I am ready for them to close my account if they choose.
    • madesignUK
    • By madesignUK 29th Nov 17, 11:03 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    madesignUK
    #WhyHSBC ?
    After the nightmare HSBC is clearly creating for itself, I find that I am not the Only one suffering this MADNESS! Spending hours of my time on the phone only to find out the greater incompetence of HSBC, is truly beyond belief, so much so I contacted the Ombudsman to ensure that a detailed investigation is conducting into the way HSBC conducts its business with the “many” small businesses that seem to be suffering by the overall inept and uncaring attitude regarding the misnamed and mis-handling of HSBC’s need to Safe Guard its own customers, with its many disastrous end results!

    Myself included, after 30-years of business with HSBC, I find that my account is closing on the 10th January 2018, after a mistake on the online date, to then find I received another letter on the same day saying that tis was a mistake and the date was 21st January! This clearly speaks VOLUMES of the inept way the whole incidence is being handled. This is further compounded by 3 recent admissions by HSBC has admitted that there has been oversights and errors in the running of my Business accounts resulting in refunds and compensation of nearly £150 in the past 3-4 weeks!

    But even on discussing issues with the Safe Guarding team, it seems that I cannot get a meeting with my Local Branch until 2nd January, after firstly being offered a 1st December appointment, that disappeared off the screen when Sam your representative booked the time slot! To then be given a month later appointment speaks further volumes of the inept way HSBC considers the value of its own customer relationships. Disgusing.

    If SafeGuarding is taken literally, I seems that it HSBC customers that need to be safe guarded from HSBC own incompetence of running its International Banking business!
    But the term Safe Guarding is clearly related to the protection from those most at risk of harm!
    I wondering who is most at harm from HSBC?

    it was refreshing to listen to
    bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09309h5

    where HSBC's Head of Commercial Banking UK apologises to Paul (BBC radio 4) for problems customers have had.
    • Dylan77
    • By Dylan77 1st Dec 17, 12:32 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Dylan77
    Just had the same letter,no explanation,they said the account is closing in 2 months time,the letter is quite rude too,they are a rubbish bank anyway,since I joined them they have been a nuisance,too many problems with them idiots,I can't understand a word they are saying too,they are not a professional bank,they are a bunch of jokers,all because I told them where to put their 'safeguard' bluusiht
    I told them my details haven't changed, they wanted me to send a copy of my passport through the post and because I said no to them they closed my account lol,now I have to find a new bank,any is better I can tell you,but I have to change lots of details now and go through lots of stress doing so,avoid HSBC they are worthless
    • Kenarf
    • By Kenarf 1st Dec 17, 7:53 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Kenarf
    A Sole Trader up against a large bank
    I have just received a letter from HSBC telling me my Business Banking Account will be terminated on 31st January 2018. Nice timing, as my Self Assessment payment will need to be made about then.

    I have had issues with the information they have requested of me under the Safeguard scheme.

    1. As a sole trader I have no employees. This is not acceptable to the form - I have to check '1-5 employees.

    2. They ask about the Ultimate Beneficial Owner. I'm a sole trader - my account name is my name T/A my company name.

    3. They ask for 'certified true copies' of ID and proof of address - the certifier can be a Registered Mental Nurse. My step daughter is an RMN but I suspect she will be surprised to 'certify' documents. How would this work - does she have a special 'certification' stamp?

    As I have been banking with HSBC for almost 24 years, I would expect them to have already satisfied themselves about my credentials. I suspect that my tiny account is simply not worth a candle to them so I guess I will have to find an alternative.
    • Kenarf
    • By Kenarf 1st Dec 17, 9:10 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Kenarf
    I just phoned HSBCs helpline where
    "Our highly-trained, UK-based Business Telephone Banking team is here to answer all your queries.
    Please just have your account number and sort code - or your 16-digit card number - handy before you call."
    Of course I also needed my date of birth and the 6-digit phone security code. Oh, they don't deal with Safeguard queries.
    Oh, I should mention my branch sent me a letter a week ago confirming my overdraft was good for another year. Obviously Safeguard are 'ring-fenced' from the rest of the bank.
    • arthur2
    • By arthur2 17th Dec 17, 11:10 AM
    • 69 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    arthur2
    No, thank you!
    I fairly recently (2014) sued HSBC for unreasonable bank charges. I won, but the Court screwed up at the point when I instructed the Bailiff! HSBC however settled my claim. and I was satisfied. I later moved the account to M&S Bank, but was unimpressed with them.

    This autumn my wife and I decided to have an HSBC account again, and I applied online. HSBC wrote asking me to take ID to a branch as I had submitted details which conflicted with their records. I went to a branch, and they admitted that their records were wrong, which was the cause of the problem. They said the application had lapsed as it was more than ten days since their letter (which gave no deadline, and had taken over a week to arrive anyway). They offered to restart the application in the branch, but I told them to forget it as we would be using Metro Bank plc. HSBC has closed the three nearest branches to me. Metro Bank is opening new branches and is open on Sunday!
    --
    Arthur
    • meer53
    • By meer53 17th Dec 17, 11:57 AM
    • 9,305 Posts
    • 13,532 Thanks
    meer53
    Why did you choose M & S ? They're HSBC ! And why choose HSBC again ? Doesn't make sense.
    • Amethyst1960
    • By Amethyst1960 12th Feb 18, 6:27 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Amethyst1960
    HSBC unsecure safeguarding policy!
    I joined Midland Bank (now HSBC) when I left school over 40 years ago. When we got married we opened a joint account. Last year I received a letter saying I needed to send sensitive information through the post (my husband did not get asked!). I returned the info under sufferance back in Nov as it said that if I did not return the info our account would be restricted (ATM withdrawals etc). This w/e I was unable to draw money from the ATM. Turns out, despite having scanned my info onto their system back in Nov, they restricted the account anyway! Supposedly been trying to ring me... Isn't that what the SECURE messaging on Internet Banking is for?! I've put in a complaint & was told they'd ring tonight. Guess what, NO phone call!!! Is that the way to treat loyalty?!

    I live abroad and they wanted me to send all my personal information through their form by postal mail, I refused and I am still battling with them, it is not what banking is all about and I will close all my accounts with HSBC before they will get any information on my personal private life.
    I invite everybody to look at HSBC Safeguard very troubling intrusive actions.
    Originally posted by mojitoman10
    • familytr33
    • By familytr33 6th Mar 18, 7:33 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    familytr33
    Like many, I've been with HSBC for over 30 years since leaving school. I now live permanently in USA but I retain some interests in UK. I have maintained accounts with HSBC with a total max annual balance of around $50K - $60K.

    Nov/Dec 2017 I started to receive the SafeGuard letters. At first HSBC required hard copies of all the the documents be notarized and then mailed to the UK. What a pain, and what a security risk!

    I was lining that up but subsequently HSBC sent a letter which said I could submit the docs online. I chose that option. Everything appeared successful.

    In Jan 2018 I noticed I was unable to wire money from HSBC to my bank in USA. Every time I clicked 'send' I would get Error Code: 19543.

    4 - 5 horrible, miserable, terrible hours of on-line support and long-distance phone calls later, I finally discovered that Error Code: 19543 means 'Blocked by Safeguard'. My accounts are frozen due to SafeGuard 'issues'.

    What makes me mad is that HSBC accepted my SafeGuard docs online without indicating any problem.

    HSBC did not subsequently tell me there was any problem. HSBC did not tell me they were freezing my accounts.

    HSBC's complete lack of communication, accountability and absence of any semblance of customer service is driving me nuts.

    This reminds me of the time HSBC 'lost' my fax indemnity for a few days and I was unable to transfer funds internationally to complete purchase of a house.


    A couple of questions...

    Have any other permanent ex-pats in this position been able to close down HSBC accounts and run with their cash?

    Have any other permanent ex-pats been able to open an account with another bank in UK while living overseas?

    Thanks,

    ft.
    Last edited by familytr33; 06-03-2018 at 7:36 PM.
    • HSBC Nightmare
    • By HSBC Nightmare 14th Mar 18, 6:55 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    HSBC Nightmare
    Like many, I've been with HSBC for over 30 years since leaving school. I now live permanently in USA but I retain some interests in UK. I have maintained accounts with HSBC with a total max annual balance of around $50K - $60K.

    Nov/Dec 2017 I started to receive the SafeGuard letters. At first HSBC required hard copies of all the the documents be notarized and then mailed to the UK. What a pain, and what a security risk!

    I was lining that up but subsequently HSBC sent a letter which said I could submit the docs online. I chose that option. Everything appeared successful.

    In Jan 2018 I noticed I was unable to wire money from HSBC to my bank in USA. Every time I clicked 'send' I would get Error Code: 19543.

    4 - 5 horrible, miserable, terrible hours of on-line support and long-distance phone calls later, I finally discovered that Error Code: 19543 means 'Blocked by Safeguard'. My accounts are frozen due to SafeGuard 'issues'.

    What makes me mad is that HSBC accepted my SafeGuard docs online without indicating any problem.

    HSBC did not subsequently tell me there was any problem. HSBC did not tell me they were freezing my accounts.

    HSBC's complete lack of communication, accountability and absence of any semblance of customer service is driving me nuts.

    This reminds me of the time HSBC 'lost' my fax indemnity for a few days and I was unable to transfer funds internationally to complete purchase of a house.


    A couple of questions...

    Have any other permanent ex-pats in this position been able to close down HSBC accounts and run with their cash?

    Have any other permanent ex-pats been able to open an account with another bank in UK while living overseas?

    Thanks,

    ft.
    Originally posted by familytr33
    I'm having the EXACT same issues as you, same time frame etc. (Did you manage to sort the issue?)

    After a week of live chat, phone support etc and a million reasons on why I can't send international payments such as "Error on my device", "It's server maintenance, it will be fixed on monday" etc etc, I finally was told it was to do with the Safe Guarding Team.

    I then went into branch to update my details, everything was fine but this was on Saturday as I could not make it into branch during work hours as i couldn't get the time off work. Therefore I had to wait till the following Monday before the Safe Guarding team could remove the restrictions as they are only open Monday - Friday 9am-5pm.

    On Monday I tried to send the payment and again, it was still not working. I rang up during work and after 90mins on the phone they told me the restrictions had already been removed. That night I again tried to send the payment and again it did not work. Every day I spent on Live Chat or on the Phone (with a £40 phone bill) trying to get this fixed.

    I was then told that it was due to a relative being linked to my account, so I drove 45mins to a bank during the really bad snow weather that was open after work to then remove this relative off my account.

    Again I was told it make take a few days to process this. Now on the 3rd week of this issue and yet there is still no resolution!!!

    There only suggestion was to open a complaint, which takes them 5 days to acknowledge then up to 8 weeks to come to a resolution, meaning this could yet take another 8 weeks to be fixed!!!

    This is the error for anyone googling it due to the stupidity of HSBC support and trying to find answers themselves like I did:

    Sorry, there appears to be a system problem. We apologise for the inconvenience. Please contact us for help to make this payment or try again later. Ref [19543]
    • nicklear
    • By nicklear 23rd Mar 18, 7:52 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    nicklear
    Part of my story, which is similar to many of you (ex-pat going through the "safeguard" mill) is that I couriered the second round of documents they asked for from South Africa and then about 2 months later got a call from the courier company to say they had lost my envelope! It had never been delivered!

    I subsequently got my ATM limit reduced to £50, but my account is still open. I never re-sent the docs, partly as I had given so much time and emotional energy to this thing that I'd had enough, but also I thought it was just as lightly that had my docs arrived they might have closed the account. Who knows!
    • heathrow
    • By heathrow 2nd Apr 18, 12:31 PM
    • 62 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    heathrow
    Safeguard - passed!
    I posted this on another thread and thought it might be helpful here:

    I'm working in Saudi Arabia (and have been for the last 8 months).


    I get paid in US Dollars to a US Dollar account with HSBC UK - I then use Fineco to convert to pounds. I am well paid, working as a contractor here in a tax-free environment. Saudi is a country which raises red flags.

    I've successfully been through the HSBC Safeguard process. I know it's successful because they've confirmed that they are content, and will come back to me in 3-5 years.

    The trick seems to be:

    * Be honest.
    * If they leave a message for you, follow up straightaway.
    * Answer ALL their questions. I've seen comments here about how HSBC is doing this is for "marketing"; not true. HSBC was sued in the US for money laundring and as part of it not being shut down it is under enormous pressure to put its house in order.

    You might think their questions are intrusive - they are, but HSBC wouldn't be doing this unless it really had to. It is an expensive process for them and annoys customers and will generate no new revenue for them.

    You might have been a customer for many years but when you opened your first account (e.g. as an apprentice - my mother opened her Midland Bank account in 1963 as a student nurse) they won;t have had anti-money laundering checks.
    • Pwoodh
    • By Pwoodh 9th Apr 18, 4:37 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Pwoodh
    HSBC Safeguard
    I've just spent hours on a their 30 minute questionnaire! And they keep coming back for more info. I have now passed their deadline and I'm being threatened with account closure. I'm coming to the conclusion that they don't want small businesses and so after banking with them for over 20 years, I will be voting with my feet.
    • meer53
    • By meer53 10th Apr 18, 10:36 AM
    • 9,305 Posts
    • 13,532 Thanks
    meer53
    I've just spent hours on a their 30 minute questionnaire! And they keep coming back for more info. I have now passed their deadline and I'm being threatened with account closure. I'm coming to the conclusion that they don't want small businesses and so after banking with them for over 20 years, I will be voting with my feet.
    Originally posted by Pwoodh
    Keep all your information to hand as you'll need to provide it to the next bank you apply to.
    • familytr33
    • By familytr33 10th Apr 18, 5:24 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    familytr33
    The trick seems to be:

    * Be honest.
    * If they leave a message for you, follow up straightaway.
    * Answer ALL their questions. I've seen comments here about how HSBC is doing this is for "marketing"; not true. HSBC was sued in the US for money laundring and as part of it not being shut down it is under enormous pressure to put its house in order.

    It sounds like you are blaming the people who are going through this c*&p.

    I don't think anyone is complaining about having to verify address info, etc, and we are certainly not being dishonest!

    The problem is DEFINITIVELY with the processes of the SafeGuard department at HSBC and the COMPLETE LACK OF COMMUNICATION.

    I received a letter which said I could submit documents electronically and they were accepted fine.

    Safeguard told me on the phone (after 3 hours) my documents were great, even though I could not get my money out.

    They let me make a wire at that point but subsequently locked my account again.

    They then mailed me the *&^% letter AGAIN and said I had to submit hard copies this time. Beyond that that f@*k-up...

    1. The dreaded letter seems like it was written by a 15 year old with english as a second language.

    2. My letter said I have to visit a (a) UK Consulate (1000 miles away), (b) a lawyer on the legal 500 list (maybe within 150 miles) or (c) a bank. All of which are highly inconvenient. I don't have a high street bank in US and after being rejected by local banks I finally had to go through my employer's bank.

    3. The letter says the person at the bank has to be certified. It does not say in what!


    Despite the fact I have submitted electronic copies which were accepted, and subsequently sent in hard copies almost 3 weeks ago, I still do not have access to my funds.

    I am now in week 12 of not being able to access my money at HSBC. And I am getting nothing from HSBC to explain why.

    ft.
    • heathrow
    • By heathrow 12th Apr 18, 7:42 PM
    • 62 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    heathrow
    It sounds like you are blaming the people who are going through this c*&p.

    I don't think anyone is complaining about having to verify address info, etc, and we are certainly not being dishonest!



    At the top of this thread there are comments along the lines of:

    Don't answer their questions - they are trying to get information to sell you stuff.

    Tell HSBC to get stuffed.

    Said individuals are then surprised when their accounts are closed.
    • MarcoM
    • By MarcoM 12th Apr 18, 8:32 PM
    • 510 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    MarcoM
    i have not had any safeguard contact. is this for personal or business accounts?
    • heathrow
    • By heathrow 13th Apr 18, 5:30 AM
    • 62 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    heathrow
    Both.

    In my case I'm pretty sure it was triggered by largish regular payments into my US dollar account (my fees from consulting abroad).
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

231Posts Today

1,652Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @GillsSarah: Interesting! I always used to buy big name products cos I thought they?d be stronger. @MartinSLewis has changed my mind on?

  • RT @think_jessica: Think Jessica the Film 30 min doc/drama based on my mother?s true story. Narrated by @MartinSLewis is now live on https:?

  • RT @kelsher123: @MartinSLewis First time switcher! And no, it wasn?t as challenging as I thought???? A British Gas customer so no brainier. Th?

  • Follow Martin