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Old Jul 21st 2017, 9:28 am   #1
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Default "" Adventures of a Yankee..in Malaysian Banking""

I am in Malaysia to finalize the MM2H stage 2 and get the visa stamp.. I have spend this whole week going through the tragio-comic adventure of setting up the bank account/FD etc etc.. Hopefully i can provide some notes from the field for those coming after me.. Since this forum has been invaluable in advising the newbies in negotiating the maze.

this post relays my adventures and the wild goose chase I had to go through to setup banking relationships as a US citizen.. it will hopefully help some poor soul(s) down the road. Of course my banking adventure was made more delicious thanks to post 9/11 money movement regulation by USA. So some (and I really hope most.. wont apply to you and non-US MM2H applicants).. so here we go..

I arrived last saturday with two weeks off work ..hope to sort the banking stuff in one week, get my visa and go to Bali for some r&r before returning back to US..

Before arriving, i sent a detailed letter to CIMB bank customer service, explaining the purpose of my visit and asking how to expedite the process. They provided the requirements of account creation and the list of banks open on Saturdays.

First disappointment, banks are NOT allowed to open accounts for foreigners on Sat (that is the answer I got).. so I laid back and chugged beer for a couple of days. HSBC does NOT open on weekends.

I am a premium account holder of HSBC in USA, i opened that account after RTFM here and hoping that will give me some preferred attention and make money transfer etc easy for me.

On Monday I went to both HSBC and CIMB branches .. to learn that USA residents cannot get an account instantly, my identity etc information has to be submitted to the "Central office" for approval.. and it may take a week.. of course i threw a fit and after I got off the floor they promise to help me expedite the process by making "some calls".

To make the story short...CIMB bank ladies were exceptionally friendly, not always very knowledgeable about the MM2H requirements, HSBC ones were neither friendly, nor knowledgeable... to make matters worse. They provided me with wrong information.

By Wed CIMB called me in for the account creation, all set and done, found out there is no quick way to get my money here, setup a wire transfer through my bank in USA (BoA) which informed me that my money will arrive in 10 (friggin) business days..


Back to HSBC.. they finally got approval for my account and setup a premium account for me... after some complicated procedure setting up online banking with old fashioned hardware token device etc. I was advised it will be 48 hours before my accounts will be linked and i can actually do a global transfer from my USA account....this was Thursday..

well myself being computer dude.. i did not buy that .. that evening I login to my account and found that my accounts were linked.. and proceeded to do a transfer from US $ to MYR.. and was presented with an error suggesting the two currencies cannot be exchanged.. Hmm... so I called the customer service.. they informed me.. that US $ cannot be converted into MYR directly through much touted global transfer process. I have one of the three options... 1: do a wire transfer, wait and pay fees. 2: setup a US $ account in Malaysia HSBC and transfer money to that and than do a local move to MYR.. 3: do a transfer to a third currency (e-g; GBP) and then transfer GBP to MYR.. i was like really .. really

called my RM at HSBC ...she said that is not true.. went into office the next day ( Friday now (which is Today )... she was still insistent..called Malaysia Premium customer service.. they confirmed US $ cannot be transferred to MYR... so need a US $ account in HSBC Malaysia.. woohoo... it will take another 3-5 days.. time to throw another tantrum .....call the manager.. manager' manager blah blah... they decided to expedite creation of the US $ account and will call me as soon as its done..

Back at the hotel, i decided to be curious .. and pull up my CIMB bank app...lo and behold my money transfer from day before has already credited.. called the bank lady and she said come on over...got there post haste.. got the FDs and MM2H letter done..in about an hour or so.. called Joy-stay and hoping to to Putra Jaya (immigration office) on Monday..

More anti-HSBC propaganda.. HSBC offered to give me 2.9% on FD.. CIMB gave me 4% without asking .. i was not even aware i could have gotten 4.15% ... but i was frustrated enuff to take 2.9% to save time etc.. wish i had presence of mind and knowledge of the rates.. but I think the ladies at CIMB were nice enuff not to shaft me .....too much

did not get any gifts/lounge passes etc.. will inquire about them on monday..

about 1/2 hour (its 5PM now) back got text from HSBC RM that my $ account is done and i should go ahead add to global view and do the transfer as needed...Anyone want to bet what I am going to do?

So hopefully this is useful to you.. I see CIMB bank branches and ATM everywhere here.. and I think it is a very good pick for retail banking at least here in KL.. where I myself intend to camp out for a yr or so.

Couple of important notes. Make sure you get the ORIGINAL of FD deposit and TWO copies and same for the MM2H letter from the bank.. whichever one you go with.

TGIF...but more importantly I THINK I am done .. so time to sit back..enjoy the view from the 25th floor... have a beer...two...and dream of beer filled (wishful thinking) lazy days of bright sunshine in Malaysia .. ahead of me ... LMAO
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Old Jul 21st 2017, 3:04 pm   #2
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Default Re: "" Adventures of a Yankee..in Malaysian Banking""

Hi Ssoomro,
Glad to hear you had an interesting week :-). And that all seems to have ended up OK.
Never heard about that one can't send USD to a MYR account before. (And why specifically USD and not EUR, GBP, etc??)
But it may be more advantageous to open a USD account as this may allow you to optimize the exchange to MYR.
(Also exchange rates are subject to negotiation but best would to bring in cash and change in a bureau)

Regarding the gift, it is a promotion which was published in the newspaper, I found it online now:
Save and Get Campaign
BUT, I now noticed that it is not valid for FD's(!!) and Forex accounts, so it is actually not as good as I originally thought! Sorry for confusion!

The 4.15% is something I recently got and it was negotiated.

As for the lounge passes, your CIMB credit card should double as a lounge pass but if you haven't got the credit card, you will be issued a separate 'preferred customer' card which you need to present at the lounges (Plaza Premium Lounges in MY)
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Old Jul 21st 2017, 3:04 pm   #3
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Default Re: "" Adventures of a Yankee..in Malaysian Banking""

Hi Ssoomro,
Glad to hear you had an interesting week :-). And that all seems to have ended up OK.
Never heard about that one can't send USD to a MYR account before. (And why specifically USD and not EUR, GBP, etc??)
But it may be more advantageous to open a USD account as this may allow you to optimize the exchange to MYR.
(Also exchange rates are subject to negotiation but best would to bring in cash and change in a bureau)

Regarding the gift, it is a promotion which was published in the newspaper, I found it online now:
Save and Get Campaign
BUT, I now noticed that it is not valid for FD's(!!) and Forex accounts, so it is actually not as good as I originally thought! Sorry for confusion!

The 4.15% is something I recently got and it was negotiated.

As for the lounge passes, your CIMB credit card should double as a lounge pass but if you haven't got the credit card, you will be issued a separate 'preferred customer' card which you need to present at the lounges (Plaza Premium Lounges in MY)
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Old Jul 21st 2017, 5:10 pm   #4
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Default Re: "" Adventures of a Yankee..in Malaysian Banking""

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnar45 View Post
Regarding the gift, it is a promotion which was published in the newspaper, I found it online now:
Save and Get Campaign
BUT, I now noticed that it is not valid for FD's(!!) and Forex accounts, so it is actually not as good as I originally thought! Sorry for confusion!
BUT is is valid for the Current account! And you can have all three gifts if you place three times the requested amounts. So not bad if you want to have some of there things. My wife want
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Old Jul 21st 2017, 9:36 pm   #5
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Default Re: "" Adventures of a Yankee..in Malaysian Banking""

Yes, but you need to keep it there for six months, meaning you lose some interest there.
Say you go for the two costliest items = 30 + 50k @ 3% interest loss vs a good FD x 0.5 gives 1 200RM.
Quite cheap for an airfryer and a robot vacuum cleaner....
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Old Jul 22nd 2017, 12:22 am   #6
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Default Re: "" Adventures of a Yankee..in Malaysian Banking""

Hi Guys...I haven't been to Malaysia for over a year so I just wanted to get this straight....

Your wives go to the bank, presumably to do some banking, and they come out with a robot vacuum cleaner or a fish fryer!.......brilliant. I can only surmise she then goes to the supermarket and comes out with a bag of cash!

Mind you, as a kid, I recall my dad going into a pub for a beer or three and coming out with a cut lip and a black eye...

I guess I'm a weird observer as I also find it funny watching a programme of women who shop with coupons...it becomes an obsession and, at the final countdown, they get almost orgasmic . One said...."it's quite challenging to be so messy and still hit the spot at the end."
You can say that again!...
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Old Jul 22nd 2017, 6:18 am   #7
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Default Re: "" Adventures of a Yankee..in Malaysian Banking""

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Originally Posted by Davita View Post
Your wives go to the bank, presumably to do some banking, and they come out with a robot vacuum cleaner or a fish fryer!.......brilliant. I can only surmise she then goes to the supermarket and comes out with a bag of cash!
You been to China? There she comes out of the bank with 12 liters milk, 30 eggs and a whole chicken. Last time I was surprised that my wife only came home with a pot of honey after placing FD. But it was a very good honey at least and they hade four grades of honey according to the amount of money you place.
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Old Jul 22nd 2017, 7:00 am   #8
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Default Re: "" Adventures of a Yankee..in Malaysian Banking""

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Originally Posted by Gunnar45 View Post
Yes, but you need to keep it there for six months, meaning you lose some interest there.
Say you go for the two costliest items = 30 + 50k @ 3% interest loss vs a good FD x 0.5 gives 1 200RM.
Quite cheap for an airfryer and a robot vacuum cleaner....
Of cause this is true. But if you use the current account the spread is much less then 3%.

Anyway, feel free to discuss this topic with my wife and good luck to convince her, that it is better to buy the air fryer by herself and place a FD for 30k instead
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Old Jul 22nd 2017, 9:12 am   #9
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Default Re: "" Adventures of a Yankee..in Malaysian Banking""

Thanks for the offer, but as I don't have her contact details.
So here is the result of some research which I assume you could forward to help with the decision

The robotic vacuum cleaner, 50k investment required:
https://www.lelong.com.my/promotion-...-09-Sale-P.htm
RM 288 over six months would be equivalent to an annual interest rate of 1.15% on 50k.

The air fryer:
https://www.lelong.com.my/promotion-...-09-Sale-P.htm
RM 285 over six months would be equivalent to an annual interest of 1.9% on 30k.

Interest rates for a preferred current account is 0% for the first 20k and then 1.8% up to 100k.

CIMB advertised 'unfixed deposit' gives for 6 a months term 1.525% (3.05% annually).
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Old Jul 22nd 2017, 10:01 am   #10
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Default Re: "" Adventures of a Yankee..in Malaysian Banking""

@ssoomro
(*) Your remarks about the conversion from USD to MYR confirm what I've heard previously: the conversion cannot happen on the non-Malaysian end but has to happen in Malaysia. That is why you were told that USD first needs to be transferred to Malaysia before it can be converted to MYR. This seems to be a Malaysian regulation, and is not limited to the USD currency only.
(*) The CIMB airport lounge pass for preferred customers used to be a separate pass. It has since been "integrated" in a credit card which is only available to preferred customers. So you would need to sign up for that credit card. The usage of the lounge pass is limited to certain lounges in those ASEAN countries where CIMB has offices. Do not think that this pass will get you worldwide into all airport lounges as you would be disappointed.
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Old Jul 22nd 2017, 10:38 am   #11
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Default Re: "" Adventures of a Yankee..in Malaysian Banking""

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnar45 View Post
Thanks for the offer, but as I don't have her contact details.
So here is the result of some research which I assume you could forward to help with the decision
Thank you so much for this excellent work. I will forward and we all can wait with joyful tension if it will be the Air fryer from CIMB or Lazada. Or maybe just a much more expensive one from Lazada

The Lelong-Links go two times to the vac cleaner

Last edited by eCdD; Jul 22nd 2017 at 10:40 am.
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Old Jul 22nd 2017, 2:02 pm   #12
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Default Re: "" Adventures of a Yankee..in Malaysian Banking""

Oh, I am SO sorry for that!
However, I believe that you found this one at Lazada.
Khind ARF22 Air Fryer | Lazada Malaysia

Looking forward to the feedback
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Old Jul 22nd 2017, 2:08 pm   #13
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Default Re: "" Adventures of a Yankee..in Malaysian Banking""

You will find having a local usd account useful.

I get paid in MYR and when I want to transfer to gbp, I text my premier lady, who tells me the best rate she can get (always better than the online global transfer rates).

It's a bit clumsy but we go local MYR to gbp, then global gbp to gbp.

Whatever works
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Old Jul 23rd 2017, 1:53 am   #14
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Default Re: "" Adventures of a Yankee..in Malaysian Banking""

Ok..all that talk of robotic fryers and automatic fish cleaners...or was that the other way around..making my head spin..I would rather go to a bank (and as Davita told) come out with a cut lip and a black eye ...but punch drunk...aah those were the day...opps did Davita say bar Or bank? Now I am all mixed up and it's only 10 am...must be all this tropical heat...let me open a beer can..just in case 😜
.well to be honest..I was too tense and nervous to get the account setup etc to demand gems and gold in exchange 😀..
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Old Jul 23rd 2017, 2:01 am   #15
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Default Re: "" Adventures of a Yankee..in Malaysian Banking""

& now is the right time to say a word of gratitude to all ya fine folks...your advise and suggestions through out the process has been (mostly wrong...but still) Godsend..(I was joking..put the gun away..and do call you that thing a gun...shame on you)...and a you may not have noticed..I suffer from a fast cheap and outta control sense of humor (hmmm
..I can hear most of you say..you call that a sense of humor??)..it's a manufacturer' defect and there is no recall available 🙃..nevertheless this is fine bunch of ppl..I am especially grateful to a few of you..who know who you are..who sent private messages full of advise and cyber cash (I suggest those who have not sent me cyber cash...yet...please reconsider your untenable position)..couldn't have done..well may be could have..but definitely wouldn't have been sooo much fun 😜

Last edited by ssoomro; Jul 23rd 2017 at 2:03 am.
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