HSBC UK Presentation

I was looking at HSBC’s website and noted that they had issued a presentation about their UK operations earlier this month.

Looking through it, there were some slides that I thought might be of interest.

They are obviously spending a lot on technology (2019: £600 million) of which most is going on new functionality - and the functionality that they mention on the second slide is due in 2019/20


If HSBC can pull this off I might have to open an account with them :wink:

The best feature for me is Global Banking. I send regular payments from my sterling overseas account to my UK account instantly and with no fees. When I logon from either my overseas or UK HSBC app I can see all my account balances in either bank. UK bank has fingerprint login which is good but overseas hasn’t caught onto this and I still need secure key for transfers but maybe one day they’ll catch up.

Sadly of all the high street banks I have ever dealt with HSBC has the worst service of them all, took weeks and numerous phone calls, branch visits and complaints to get them to just issue a pin generator for a business account.

Took 4 branch visits to get an account closed.

Took 2 phone calls, 3 emails and 7 branch visits to get a payment transfered because they had sent it wrong in the first place.

That’s just a few of the issues in the last couple of years.

They need to change and if they use the money wisely, that can only be a good thing.


Have to agree @daedal they are awful and worse than Tsb in my opinion.

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Another agreement from me. I switched to them for a sign up bonus, and it was only trouble…

The problem with them isn’t the tech - it’s the processes.

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If it weren’t for my particular need of global banking I wouldn’t use them. Their systems seem very 1990’s. However, I am fortunate that through my employer I am a Premier account customer and therefore my onboarding experience was smoother than most.

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Agree with much of the above sentiment - briefly held an account with them earlier this year, but left after I got the reward money for the current account switch because they were so awful. Their systems were slow and manual, I had to go into the branch several times just to open my account, their app was very average, etc. I won’t hold my breath for this transformation to happen any time soon.

I have to give HSBC all due credit. It was only the deeply terrible nature of their systems that drove me to switching bank accounts to Starling. I might still be stuck with a legacy bank if I had been with someone slightly more competent.


What’s wrong with them? I’ve been using them for more than 1 year, didn’t really had any big issues.

Legacy systems that’ are very irritating to deal with, having to go into branch 300 times to open an account etc


I only went once, when I moved in UK and opened the account. Can’t say I had any issues, apart from the fact that I’ve formatted my iPhone and removed the Digital Key something so I had to wait for a code to come in the mail. :man_shrugging:

Good bank… never had any problems or card declines…
Only one issue - account opening time - few weeks

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When I used them they had a terrible app with annoying, slow authentication (even after the introduction of a touchid option IIRC).

Even if the app has improved by now, they are probably still charging fees any time you purchase items abroad (including online payments for online services that are charged in $). Probably still charging for cash withdrawals abroad.

Basically, I don’t think they offer any feature that eg. Starling offer, are worse or are missing features, and have lots more charges.

Why would you be with them? For a transfer bonus or something? I’m sure they’ve calculated it so they quickly get that money back from you in fees.

Yes that’s true I don’t use them while abroad to avoid the non-sterling fee, I mainly use them in the UK, through their Rewards Credit card, when my AmEx is not accepted. The debit card I use for cash withdrawals, that are very rare. I also use them to invest money something that Starling doesn’t offer as far as I know. Also while abroad I spend on a no fx fees credit card. I like to spend banks money and pay it in full at the end, so I can keep my money in a savings account making me interest.
So in the end I get rewards/cashback when I spend their money, and interest on my money, via savings account.

The question is why would you use Starling/Monzo or others directly without getting any rewards/cashback?

Starling gives you a small amount of interest on balances. Like you, I use a separate account for credit card spending to get rewards (Tandem in my case, for cashback). I use a dedicated stock broker for my investments, which again offers lower fees than HSBC. For “real” cash savings, I use a dedicated separate account (Marcus).

In both our cases, the current account part of our needs seems quite limited. And I use Starling for this part because it is simply superior to what HSBC offers. Budgeting features. Goals. Fast, easy to use app. No fees. Not having to have a separate account when going abroad.

So again, for a current account, why use HSBC?

This is quite interesting. For someone like me (and by the sounds of it you) who uses their credit card for most of my spending, what makes me choose my current account provider?

I have 4 current accounts (+ some that I use for savings as they offer high rates on small amounts), and each of them is chosen for a specific purpose (cashback, interest, insurance).

But frankly the account that I consider my main account is with Barclays purely by historical accident. Yes, they also pay healthy cashback, and I actually quite like them, but my current account is so boring (1 salary a month in, 4 dd + 1 so a month out) that it really isn’t important enough for me to change, even if one day I stopped liking them, or they stopped paying cashback (in that case I’d just move my DD elsewhere) - I just don’t care cuz I hardly interface with my main current account :man_shrugging:

And I suspect that will apply to a large number of people. Particularly if you are doing most of your spending through credit cards, your current account becomes kinda boring.


An @anon37295698 mentioned, as we use credit cards the current account isn’t that used so I don’t necessary see the benefits of Starling (money management etc) over HSBC. But you could argue the other way around as well. For me there are a few differences for example if you happen to have a Premier account you get free perks like free insurance, you can’t do that on Starling. Let’s also say that in 5 years you decide to move to US, you can actually open an bank account with HSBC from UK and transfer you credit history over there, I don’t think Starling is doing that yet, but maybe if they get across the pond they will offer this.

I’m not saying HSBC is better, maybe these things have no value to you.


If Starling could carry credit history to other countries I’d actually like, celebrate rn

Once they expand to different countries I don’t see a reason why they shouldn’t