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Old 01-09-2012, 09:18   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randal Johnson
Be leary of the HSBC in HK. I opened an account there in 2006 when we were having our boat built in mainland China for use in transferring funds to the builder. I continued the account with the intention of it being a cruising account.
When we reached the Philippines, my ATM card started to fail from wear in my billfold. It was poorly made and the information strip started to come off. I took a three hour ride to the HSBC bank in Manila to sort it out and was told they could not help me, I had to deal with the bank where I had the account. The only service they could offer was the use of their ATM in the lobby. There system does not allow a HSBC bank in one country to help a customer of one in another country.
Eventually I downloaded an application to get a new card, filled it out and mailed it to the HSBC in HK with instructions not to mail the card to the US but to my Philippine address. Three weeks later I received an email from the US saying my address there had received a letter saying my request had been denied because I failed to sign my middle name.
I sent an email to the HK office saying I wanted to stop the account and left $125.00 in the account. One year later I got a bill saying I owed them money for maintenance since I was not maintaining a minimum balance.
Ah, gone are the days when a bank really knew their customer. Sounds just like every other bank - want you to sign your signature correctly and stick by the rules. PITA really. World is too
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:26   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randal Johnson
Be leary of the HSBC in HK. I opened an account there in 2006 when we were having our boat built in mainland China for use in transferring funds to the builder. I continued the account with the intention of it being a cruising account.
When we reached the Philippines, my ATM card started to fail from wear in my billfold. It was poorly made and the information strip started to come off. I took a three hour ride to the HSBC bank in Manila to sort it out and was told they could not help me, I had to deal with the bank where I had the account. The only service they could offer was the use of their ATM in the lobby. There system does not allow a HSBC bank in one country to help a customer of one in another country.
Eventually I downloaded an application to get a new card, filled it out and mailed it to the HSBC in HK with instructions not to mail the card to the US but to my Philippine address. Three weeks later I received an email from the US saying my address there had received a letter saying my request had been denied because I failed to sign my middle name.
I sent an email to the HK office saying I wanted to stop the account and left $125.00 in the account. One year later I got a bill saying I owed them money for maintenance since I was not maintaining a minimum balance.
Sounds just like a regular bank. I can remember when banks understood minor details like not signing your cheques correctly and would actually ring if th
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:28   #18
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Sounds just like a regular bank. I can remember when banks understood minor details like not signing your cheques correctly and would actually ring if th
... Bloody Iphone... If they did not think a transaction looked correct. Now you need a lot of money for that service. A plague on their houses!!
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:39   #19
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Re: International Banking

I was going to send you the address of the people I used to set up my offshore company (BVI company) but really, if you just google "Offshore Company Formation Hong Kong" you will get pages of people who do this for probably similar costs. The all make their money from recurring fees if you ask them to maintain an office for mail and phone calls. I just used a Central Post Office box which was forwarded to wherever I happen to be at the time for a small fee. And I am sure they will all introduce you to a bank of your choice for their standard fee of a couple of hundred dollars.

I know from the Oz perspective this may seem to be a BIG thing to organise but it is trivial really. Of course big international transactions are scrutinised for money laundering - correctly so. But the minor international income you and I are are likely to process is hardly going to attract that sort of anxiety. Thousands of these are set up in HK every year - it is is one of the ways the HK government maintains an income which allows the local citizens to pay an average of 15% tax. A very desirable state of affairs for all.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:34   #20
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Re: International Banking

HSBC bank is my recommendation. Firstly if you have over 100k on deposit with them they will give you a "premier" acccount status which allows you to open accounts anywhere on the planet without service charges. This feature alone can save you 100s if not 1000s in airfare or other fees? that agents charge. Also all correspondence can be mailed to one central address{po boxes allowed} if desired. They will also give a cash-secured visa card immediately. There are other banks that match their level of service but if you wish to switch currencies from one country to another only the Hsbc bank has most favourable rates i have found as most banks are 2%-4% over actual exchange rates.These 4% exchange rates are the norm whenever mastercard/amex/visa are used plus the cash advance fees. ATM cash withdrawals are usually best exchange rates from any major bank.If your monthly balance drops below 100k then HSBC charges as much as all bank competitors for service fees as the account holders "premier" status doesnt apply.I have tested this account opening of any HSBC account worldwide and it works.Without any glitches or excessive red-tape.
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