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  • FIRST POST
    • Skag
    • By Skag 8th Mar 18, 12:42 PM
    • 230Posts
    • 29Thanks
    Skag
    HSBC does not allow me access to my money
    • #1
    • 8th Mar 18, 12:42 PM
    HSBC does not allow me access to my money 8th Mar 18 at 12:42 PM
    I opened an foreign currency account (EUR) in 3 names (parent & sibling) about 10 years ago with HSBC. The amount was in the tens of thousands of Euro.

    One fine Saturday of Jan-18 I called them to transfer my funds to another account. They said that they can't see my money and that my account has been closed. I asked them why they can't see and where my money is, and they said they don't know, and that I need to call back on weekdays 9-5. So I did. The person on the phone said, that they don't know where my money is and that they will launch an investigation, which will take up to 8 weeks to fulfill.

    Eventually after about 7 weeks, and many phone calls, they sent me cheque with the amount converted in sterling, on their own rate (spot rate was about 1.15, their was about 1.18, so I lost some thousands there). They also sent me 2 papers, one saying that I can take my complain to the Financial Ombudsman, and the second that they are sorry, but they don't think they've done anything wrong, since they had let me know that they would convert my money into sterling (I never received such mail).

    I filed a claim with the FO at this point.
    Next Saturday, I deposited the sterling check into my account. Next Thursday, the money still wasn't paid into my account, and I called them to ask why. They said that the check should be paid into an account owned by the same 3 people, but because 2 of them are not residents in the UK, I cannot deposit my check. "Would you like to file a claim for it?". Of course I did, for which I will have to wait another up to 8 weeks for a resolution.

    Now, I don't have access to my money and I need them like yesterday. This money has been deposited, and HSBC is unable to either transfer it to an account, or give it back to me. I informed the manager of premiere banking on the phone that this is illegal and fraudulent, and he decided not to comment on it.

    Should I also seek legal action apart from FO?
    Last edited by Skag; 08-03-2018 at 5:23 PM.
Page 1
    • MarcoM
    • By MarcoM 8th Mar 18, 12:47 PM
    • 504 Posts
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    MarcoM
    • #2
    • 8th Mar 18, 12:47 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Mar 18, 12:47 PM
    where you asked about the source of funds?
    it may be stupid aml cheques holding the cheque up.
    • Skag
    • By Skag 8th Mar 18, 12:54 PM
    • 230 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    Skag
    • #3
    • 8th Mar 18, 12:54 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Mar 18, 12:54 PM
    No, but the funds were there for many years now (4-5), and were transferred from an account in my and my parent's name.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 8th Mar 18, 3:12 PM
    • 20,102 Posts
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    agrinnall
    • #4
    • 8th Mar 18, 3:12 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Mar 18, 3:12 PM
    Highly unlikely to be either illegal or fraudulent so you should be careful about making libellous comments, especially as I'd guess it'll be pretty easy for HSBC to identify you.
    • Skag
    • By Skag 8th Mar 18, 3:24 PM
    • 230 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    Skag
    • #5
    • 8th Mar 18, 3:24 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Mar 18, 3:24 PM
    It was ranked 9 our of 11 consumer banks. That makes it pretty low in consumer banking. That's written in MSE. The rest is just facts.
    • Skag
    • By Skag 8th Mar 18, 3:25 PM
    • 230 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    Skag
    • #6
    • 8th Mar 18, 3:25 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Mar 18, 3:25 PM
    No, but the funds were there for many years now (4-5), and were transferred from an account in my and my parent's name.
    Originally posted by Skag
    So keeping my money and not being able to give it back to be is neither illegal nor fraudulent. How would you call it? How would you call someone who you trusted with your money, and when you requested it back he said I can't give it to you?
    • WestonDave
    • By WestonDave 8th Mar 18, 3:36 PM
    • 5,037 Posts
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    WestonDave
    • #7
    • 8th Mar 18, 3:36 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Mar 18, 3:36 PM
    I think you have two issues here.


    One is that you've left money untouched (seemingly from your description) for ten years so it has fallen into a dormant state. Records aren't generally kept beyond 6 years as there is normally no reason to do so - most UK banks have a dormant account system (I believe at one point there was a proposal for such funds to be used for public purposes!). So HSBC possibly now don't have easy access to important details like where the funds came from, who has permission to withdraw etc. It will be around somewhere but possibly in an archive system rather than on their day to day live systems.


    That makes the second part harder - the funds came from three people, sat in an account in the names of three people (which they now may not have full access to the history of) and you are asking for it to be paid out to just one of those three people. Bear in mind that money laundering regulations make institutions wary of being the conduit for changes of ownership. Where I work for example if someone pays money in, and then for some reason it has to be returned, our policy is that it goes back to the person and preferably the account it came from. That way we aren't involved in moving money around in a way that could be designed to hide fraudulent or criminal behaviour. (Obviously 99% of the time its innocent stuff like someone wanting to give their kids some money out of their house sale proceeds etc - we just insist that they have the money and they pass it over, rather than us doing it!). So my guess is that this relates to your situation. At the very least they'd need authority from all three of the original money owners to transfer it into just one name (i.e. to change ownership) - in practice they'd rather you'd either drawn a cheque signed in accordance with the mandate to just yourself, or that you transferred it somewhere in joint ownership and then that was done. HSBC got hauled over the coals a while back for breaches of money laundering regs which tends now to make them stricter on compliance than other places.


    So what they are doing possibly isn't as customer friendly as they could be but its almost certainly not strictly incorrect.
    Adventure before Dementia!
    • gt94sss2
    • By gt94sss2 8th Mar 18, 4:24 PM
    • 4,045 Posts
    • 1,875 Thanks
    gt94sss2
    • #8
    • 8th Mar 18, 4:24 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Mar 18, 4:24 PM
    It was ranked 9 our of 11 consumer banks. That makes it pretty low in consumer banking. That's written in MSE. The rest is just facts.
    Originally posted by Skag
    An MSE poll would still not save you should HSBC decide to take legal action for your comments - just because it's on this site it doesn't mean anything legally - HSBC also come first in those polls as First Direct is part of them for instance.

    What seems to have happened is as you did not use your account for many years, it was marked dormant and removed from their 'live' systems, hence them needing to trace your account.

    https://www.mylostaccount.org.uk/ten.htm provides some background. They would have written to the account holders before marking your account dormant.

    Ideally, you should have reinstated your account and then transferred the money yourself. I don't think you have a case over HSBC using their f/x rate or issuing a cheque in the name of all 3 account holders.
    • Skag
    • By Skag 8th Mar 18, 5:26 PM
    • 230 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    Skag
    • #9
    • 8th Mar 18, 5:26 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Mar 18, 5:26 PM
    Let me demystify some things:
    1. The account wasn't dormant. I have deposited some money about a year ago. It had been in the past, but I "re-enabled" it.
    2. What does it mean when an account has 3 joint holders? Does it not mean that any one of them has access to the account wholly?

    The issue is simple: you sir, deposit 1000 Euro into an account. You then want them back. The bank tells you that you can't have it back and they don't know where it is. You want it now though (maybe you need to pay the doctor or a surgery?). How is this even remotely right?
    Last edited by Skag; 08-03-2018 at 5:30 PM.
    • Skag
    • By Skag 8th Mar 18, 5:33 PM
    • 230 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    Skag
    HSBC also come first in those polls as First Direct is part of them for instance.
    Originally posted by gt94sss2
    First Direct may have completely different customer handling to HSBC. It's a different legal entity and a bank. HSBC being at the bottom doesn't make First Direct bad, nor the reverse. That's false logic.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 8th Mar 18, 5:35 PM
    • 8,320 Posts
    • 10,636 Thanks
    PeacefulWaters
    First Direct may have completely different customer handling to HSBC. It's a different legal entity and a bank. HSBC being at the bottom doesn't make First Direct bad, nor the reverse. That's false logic.
    Originally posted by Skag
    Same banking licence. Same bank.
    • Skag
    • By Skag 8th Mar 18, 5:40 PM
    • 230 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    Skag
    Same banking licence. Same bank.
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    Way different customer approach and handling I presume, whatever that entails, otherwise they would both be 9th. Or 1st.
    • d123
    • By d123 8th Mar 18, 5:47 PM
    • 7,219 Posts
    • 4,658 Thanks
    d123
    First Direct may have completely different customer handling to HSBC. It's a different legal entity and a bank. HSBC being at the bottom doesn't make First Direct bad, nor the reverse. That's false logic.
    Originally posted by Skag
    The false logic would be your assumption.

    first direct is a division of HSBC Bank plc.
    HSBC Bank plc 2017.
    All Rights Reserved.

    Member HSBC group.
    https://www1.firstdirect.com/1/2/
    ====
    • Skag
    • By Skag 8th Mar 18, 5:58 PM
    • 230 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    Skag
    The false logic would be your assumption.


    https://www1.firstdirect.com/1/2/
    Originally posted by d123
    I don't get you but that's not my point anyway.

    I have written my questions clearer above. Feel free to contribute with an answer.
    • d123
    • By d123 8th Mar 18, 6:30 PM
    • 7,219 Posts
    • 4,658 Thanks
    d123
    I don't get you but that's not my point anyway.
    Originally posted by Skag
    I was replying to your point made in the post I quoted...

    First Direct may have completely different customer handling to HSBC. It's a different legal entity and a bank.

    That's false logic.
    Originally posted by Skag
    I stated the false logic was in your statement that First Direct is a different legal entity and bank when it isn't.
    ====
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 8th Mar 18, 6:33 PM
    • 4,943 Posts
    • 13,194 Thanks
    EachPenny
    I don't get you but that's not my point anyway.

    I have written my questions clearer above. Feel free to contribute with an answer.
    Originally posted by Skag
    Sometimes perceptation is very different to the reality.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • mgdavid
    • By mgdavid 8th Mar 18, 6:33 PM
    • 5,594 Posts
    • 4,916 Thanks
    mgdavid
    There's more to this than we've been told so far, I'll wager.

    Maybe one of the other 2 people on the account moved the money and closed it?
    Last edited by mgdavid; 08-03-2018 at 6:41 PM.
    The questions that get the best answers are the questions that give most detail....
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 8th Mar 18, 6:45 PM
    • 4,943 Posts
    • 13,194 Thanks
    EachPenny
    The logical answer is a Euro account held in three names, two in one country, one in another has caused some kind of issue. HSBC wrote to the customer saying the account would be closed. After no response the account was duly closed.

    The investigation has resulted in the funds being located and returned to the OP in a form of a cheque drawn on one of HSBC's own accounts. Presentation of the cheque has failed because the names don't match the account it is being paid into.

    The cheque cannot be cancelled and returned to the OP's original account as that doesn't exist any more.

    HSBC cannot issue a new cheque in just the OP's name without clarification from the other two account holders that this is acceptable.

    Solution: All 3 account holders need to visit a branch together (possibly the one the account was originally held at) and sign whatever paperwork is required for the funds to be withdrawn in one name only. HSBC's cheque previously sent to the OP needs to be returned to them so it can be cancelled.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • gt94sss2
    • By gt94sss2 8th Mar 18, 7:02 PM
    • 4,045 Posts
    • 1,875 Thanks
    gt94sss2
    First Direct may have completely different customer handling to HSBC. It's a different legal entity and a bank.
    Originally posted by Skag
    As others have confirmed, HSBC and First Direct are the same bank and legal entity - just different brand names.

    EachPenny has suggested what may have happened- I wonder it's as a result of their https://www.hsbc.co.uk/1/2/contact-and-support/security-centre/hsbcsafeguard programme. Others have also been told their accounts will be closed when they don't reply to such requests.

    Does HSBC have upto date addresses for you and your family?
    • Skag
    • By Skag 9th Mar 18, 8:15 AM
    • 230 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    Skag
    The logical answer is a Euro account held in three names, two in one country, one in another has caused some kind of issue. HSBC wrote to the customer saying the account would be closed. After no response the account was duly closed.

    The investigation has resulted in the funds being located and returned to the OP in a form of a cheque drawn on one of HSBC's own accounts. Presentation of the cheque has failed because the names don't match the account it is being paid into.

    The cheque cannot be cancelled and returned to the OP's original account as that doesn't exist any more.

    HSBC cannot issue a new cheque in just the OP's name without clarification from the other two account holders that this is acceptable.

    Solution: All 3 account holders need to visit a branch together (possibly the one the account was originally held at) and sign whatever paperwork is required for the funds to be withdrawn in one name only. HSBC's cheque previously sent to the OP needs to be returned to them so it can be cancelled.
    Originally posted by EachPenny
    Precisely my thought on the solution. However not having access to one's funds?... I think it transcends the soft expression of "poor customer service".
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