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Old Dec 29th 2017, 2:11 am   #1
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Thumbs down Money transfers to Thailand from HSBC (UK) - slower and error

I have the good 'fortune' to have a HSBC account in the UK (you know, 'The World's local bank' - unless you live in Thailand!). I was always impressed with the speed of the transfers to Thailand from the UK which in most cases (on a regular working day of course) could take as little as 2 hours!

In the last month or two I've noticed that while it's still quick, it's not the same as it used to be. Before, once I made the transfer, the funds would be marked up as exiting my UK account almost immediately. Several times recently that has taken anything from 8 - 12 hours. Almost inevitably that will push the arrival time of the funds to the next working day. Still good in terms of transfer times but I'm wondering what's changed at the HSBC end that slowed down the length of time it takes the funds to exit the account. Almost without exception the time of arrival of funds in to the Thai account (notified by SMS) was always 09:34, to the minute. Now, it's arriving at different times, and considerably later.

A slightly more worrying twist is that a few days ago I set up a new transfer to a newly opened account in Thailand and, as I always do to check that the transfer is working OK, I do a relatively small transfer first (I'd rather sort out problems over a few hundred pounds than a few thousand). In this case I transferred £200 from the UK and noticed that once it arrived, the next day, it the amount received in baht (I always transfer in £ and let the receiving bank convert it) was considerably lower than I expected. Luckily, rather than just write it off as a bad luck fluctuation I contacted the Thai bank who advised that the sum that had been received their end was £187, not £200! I have sent a complaint to HSBC asking for an explanation and also demanding that the missing funds be credited to my account (I always opt to pay just the UK fees so it's not a fee thing) and am waiting for a reply. I'm also waiting another test transfer to come in so it'll be interesting to see whether that arrives in full.
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Old Dec 29th 2017, 4:09 am   #2
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Default Re: Money transfers to Thailand from HSBC (UK) - slower and error

The transfer from yesterday arrived today at the anticipated conversion rate and was not 'short'.

Still waiting a reply from HSBC regarding the shortage from yesterday though I guess it'll take them time to correspond with the Thai bank, unless they can quickly identify an error their end.

Might be a pure coincidence but just before the transfer transaction I did another transaction on the UK account at £1,870; interesting because the sum wrongly transferred to Thailand was £187, makes me wonder whether it's a systems glitch relating to that other transaction or manual input error with someone reading off the wrong line, inputting the wrong amount?
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Old Dec 29th 2017, 8:08 am   #3
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Default Re: Money transfers to Thailand from HSBC (UK) - slower and error

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Originally Posted by Atilla View Post
The transfer from yesterday arrived today at the anticipated conversion rate and was not 'short'.

Still waiting a reply from HSBC regarding the shortage from yesterday though I guess it'll take them time to correspond with the Thai bank, unless they can quickly identify an error their end.

Might be a pure coincidence but just before the transfer transaction I did another transaction on the UK account at £1,870; interesting because the sum wrongly transferred to Thailand was £187, makes me wonder whether it's a systems glitch relating to that other transaction or manual input error with someone reading off the wrong line, inputting the wrong amount?
HSBC doesn't operate in Thailand anymore as far as I know. It is Krungsri doing business on behalf of HSBC from what I was told.
I had several contacts who worked for HSBC, they all were transferred out in 2013.
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Old Dec 29th 2017, 8:21 am   #4
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Default Re: Money transfers to Thailand from HSBC (UK) - slower and error

Why not try TransferWise for your transaction.
I just did a dummy-test to send GBP1,000 to Thailand. The total fee is GBP6.96 and the received amount would net THB43,704.38.... but not until Wed 3 Jan due to the holidays. When I transfer at other times it's usually done by the next work day.

I have HSBC Premier in UK, and in three other countries, where I can freely transfer on-line immediately.... but I use TransferWise to do the exchange as the rate is better.
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Old Dec 30th 2017, 12:56 am   #5
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Default Re: Money transfers to Thailand from HSBC (UK) - slower and error

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Originally Posted by Thairetired2016 View Post
HSBC doesn't operate in Thailand anymore as far as I know. It is Krungsri doing business on behalf of HSBC from what I was told.
I had several contacts who worked for HSBC, they all were transferred out in 2013.
Yes, but I'm not really sure what that has to do with anything here? If you transfer £200 from Bank A in the UK to Bank B in Thailand, £200 should arrive at Bank B, regardless of what the bank's brand name is. In this case, Bank A just happens to be HSBC, it could have been anything, the fact that they don't have a presence in Thailand is irrelevant (AFAIK the only bank that operates in both Thailand and the UK is Bangkok Bank).
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Old Dec 30th 2017, 1:21 am   #6
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Default Re: Money transfers to Thailand from HSBC (UK) - slower and error

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davita View Post
Why not try TransferWise for your transaction.
I just did a dummy-test to send GBP1,000 to Thailand. The total fee is GBP6.96 and the received amount would net THB43,704.38.... but not until Wed 3 Jan due to the holidays. When I transfer at other times it's usually done by the next work day.

I have HSBC Premier in UK, and in three other countries, where I can freely transfer on-line immediately.... but I use TransferWise to do the exchange as the rate is better.
Thanks. Yeah I've looked at Transferwise before and while the exchange rate is indeed very slightly better it works out to be not that worthwhile for me.

Example:

I just transferred £1,600 to Thailand using HSBC. The HSBC transfer fee is £4. Deposited to my account (e.g. after Kasikorn had levied its fees of 0.25% [min 200 baht / max 500]) was 68,872.19. Effective rate of 43.04.

If I did the same with Transferwise they would transfer 69,954.54, on face value better to the tune of 1,082 baht. But, their fees are an extra £6.24 (£10.24 total) (equivalent of approx 834 baht if using a flat 43 as the exchange rate). I'm not sure but I doubt there'd be a Kasikorn fee on top of that as TW indicate that they pay into your account from a bank within the recipient country so it wouldn't attract a Forex transfer. Even if there are no Kasikorn fees to be paid however I'm still only 248 baht better off, with an effective exchange rate of 43.20, or almost nothing if Kasikorn does levy a fee.

For me, the 248 baht isn't really worth it and, in the event of anything going wrong, I'd rather deal with just two companies (a UK bank and a Thai bank) rather than add a third middle-man.

Thanks for the suggestion though, and I'll sure keep it in mind if there's ever a change in HSBC transfer fees or if I need to use other non HSBC accounts to transfer money.
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Old Jan 10th 2018, 7:24 am   #7
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Default Re: Money transfers to Thailand from HSBC (UK) - slower and error

Quick update FWIW.

As I'd never had this charge before on literally thousands of transfers I was absolutely certain this was just an input error HSBC end; no such luck. HSBC responded to an enquiry with "Ooooohhh, no idea really, guess it was an intermediary". Lame response and no sign of any in depth investigation by HSBC.

What I'm not sure of is why I caught this charge this time around. Never been fleeced for anything above the £4 fee before in GBP transfers to Kasikorn. The ONLY thing that was different was the BIC code I used. As the new transfer I set up no longer had the KASITHBK option I had to use the KASITHBKXXX BIC which Kasikorn tell me are interchangeable. Was that the cause I wonder? Or was it the fact that the robbed transfer was coming out of the UK just as the banking system was surfacing from the Christmas public holidays, perhaps triggering an intermediary to get used? It's all guesswork really. What is odd though is that I did a much larger transfer the day after using the old payee (and BIC code) - no extra charges beyond the £4, full sum arrived! Go figure?

Either way though I'm now trying to establish (at least in my case) whether it indeed IS the new BIC I used by trying yet another transfer (£100 this time) using that set of details. If that transfer also gets mugged en-route I'll try yet another to the old BIC. If the only common factor to me getting hit is using the new BIC code I'll stick to the old one and sod the fact that my address details on that 'Payee' are different to my current address. If they both get mugged though I'll change to using Transferwise. The £4 transfer deal was always a bonus with HSBC Premier, not so much so if you're going to be subject to undisclosed fleecing of your funds en-route by HSBC and their chums. It's all well and good HSBC trying to hide behind "either the sending or receiving banks may charge", it's HSBC and THEIR decision to use an intermediary that's the culprit.
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Old Jan 11th 2018, 2:53 am   #8
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Default Re: Money transfers to Thailand from HSBC (UK) - slower and error

Well, that confirms it (or at least confirms it enough for me), it's the different BIC that is the only thing I can think of that's causing the transfers to get charged or, the newness of the 'Payee' set-up relating to using that 'new' BIC that is seemingly causing the transfer to get hit with an intermediary fee. The payee using the old BIC code was set up 4 years ago, the payee using the new BIC code (same Kasikorn account - just with a different payee address) about 2 months ago.

Transferred £100 yesterday and expected around 4,000 baht to arrive in the account today (approx 42.8 minus the 200 baht Kasikorn fee). Amount credited 3,525!!

Transfer of 200 GBP on 27/12/17 using KASITHBKXXX - intermediary charge £13!

Transfer of 1,600 GBP on 28/12/17 using KASITHBK - no intermediary charge

Transfer of 100 GBP on 10/01/18 using KASITHBKXXX - intermediary charge £13!!

I might at some time go into to Kasikorn to get them to check whatever details they can to ensure that it's nothing happening their end but I don't think it is. When I checked with Kasikorn first time around they said an amount smaller than transferred reached the account, I doubt it's anything to do with Kasikorn clearing while it's on the way from arrival in Thailand to my account.

What it does make you wonder though is whether HSBC are changing something and whether eventually they'll get around to changing longer established payee set ups so they will all get hit. My next GBP transfer, using the old KASITHBK, will be made at the end of this month so we'll see how that goes.
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Old Jan 12th 2018, 1:28 am   #9
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Thumbs up Re: Money transfers to Thailand from HSBC (UK) - slower and error

Been doing some research on transfers since I'm no longer happy to play the game of Russian roulette that's involved in doing transfers from HSBC, even with their 'great value' deal of a flat fee of £4 for transfers from Premier accounts, flat that is until HSBC decide it's time to let their chums mug your transfer while it's en route to wherever. I found out (luckily) about the growing threat of this on a small transfer and got slammed for £13 on £200 (and subsequently for the same amount on a £100!) transfer. I dread to think what that would have been on £2-3,000! While I seem to have cured it for now, by reverting to using an older established payee with an older BIC, I'm no longer prepared to put faith in HSBC and find one day that they've worked round to hitting older established payee's by switching to using an intermediary.

Over the last few days I've been looking at comparisons, primarily (thanks to Davita's recommendation) using TransferWise (TW), as an alternative to HSBC. TW was recommended to me because of the higher exchange rate they can guarantee vs letting a Thai bank convert GBP on arrival (I would never EVER use the option to send the funds in Thai baht as that would attract the worst rate of any). Initially I dismissed the TW option as I interpreted their transfer estimate wrongly in that I thought their fees would be on top of the sum you need to transfer to reach the target amount in baht. Not so, their transfer / Forex conversion estimation includes the deduction TW will make on the sum you transfer, it's not a fee you need to add.

By way of an example, using a target amount of 75,000 baht (a fairly rounded random amount that's not very low and not particularly high) using today's GBP/THB rate (as shown using XE Currency) of 43.30 (merely as a guide):

HSBC: I find that using HSBC I will always get around 0.5 baht less to the £ using the XE rate. In addition, while it's only a paltry amount, you need to cater for the 200 baht fee the Thai bank will make for the Forex receipt / conversion. So for 75,200 you'd need to transfer £1,757. On top of that there's the £4 HSBC fee (plus of course the risk of getting mugged by HSBC and their chums by way of intermediary charges if you're unlucky). A total cost to you of £1,761.

TransferWise: Much easier to calculate. Simply, you'd need to pay TW a total of £1,746 to receive 75,037 baht (at the time of checking). That's £15 less than you'd need with HSBC, not an insignificant amount! Further, AFAIK, the way TW operate is that the sum you transfer is paid in to your account in local currency from an account they hold in that country so there will be no receiving bank Forex fee.

The other thing I have noticed, indicating to me that something has definitely changed with the way HSBC handles such transfers, is the time they now take. Up until about 2 months ago, I could do a transfer from the UK at say, 11:00 am (Thai time) on a Tuesday (thus avoiding any possible delays caused by weekend system shut-downs etc) and the sum would always leave my account pretty much within minutes. It would then arrive in my Thai bank account within 2-3 hours, without fail, every single time. That's changed now. I first noticed it when a transfer didn't arrive as expected and the trend I've noticed now is that funds will not leave the UK account for 8-12 hours after you complete the instruction. Why is that I wonder? The funds are thus now never received in my Thai bank until the next day. Previously, if I'd done a transfer after Thai banks were closed for business, they would always arrive at exactly 09:34 (literally to the minute) on the next day. Now it's either later or a lot later, sometimes very late afternoon before the funds arrive. It's still fast enough for a transfer given that some take 3-5 days but I mention it only as an indicator that, despite what they say, something has changed with regard to the way HSBC handles transfers. Given the track record of HSBC with regard to the scandals they've been involved in, I take any HSBC assurance with a pinch of salt.

For the immediate future I'll pass on HSBC and their 'preferential' Premier transfer rate and stick to TransferWise, unless anyone knows of an even better way. Thought I'd update the post here in case anyone else notices their transfers now getting hit for these fees whereas previously they were not.
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Old Jan 12th 2018, 3:38 am   #10
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Default Re: Money transfers to Thailand from HSBC (UK) - slower and error

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atilla View Post
Over the last few days I've been looking at comparisons, primarily (thanks to Davita's recommendation) using TransferWise (TW), as an alternative to HSBC. TW was recommended to me because of the higher exchange rate they can guarantee vs letting a Thai bank convert GBP on arrival (I would never EVER use the option to send the funds in Thai baht as that would attract the worst rate of any). Initially I dismissed the TW option as I interpreted their transfer estimate wrongly in that I thought their fees would be on top of the sum you need to transfer to reach the target amount in baht. Not so, their transfer / Forex conversion estimation includes the deduction TW will make on the sum you transfer, it's not a fee you need to add.


TransferWise: Much easier to calculate. Simply, you'd need to pay TW a total of £1,746 to receive 75,037 baht (at the time of checking). That's £15 less than you'd need with HSBC, not an insignificant amount! Further, AFAIK, the way TW operate is that the sum you transfer is paid in to your account in local currency from an account they hold in that country so there will be no receiving bank Forex fee.

For the immediate future I'll pass on HSBC and their 'preferential' Premier transfer rate and stick to TransferWise, unless anyone knows of an even better way. Thought I'd update the post here in case anyone else notices their transfers now getting hit for these fees whereas previously they were not.
I'm happy you have found a solution...I was going to respond to your earlier post as it did appear you had misunderstood TransferWise method but I see you do understand.
It is simplicity itself...they just deduct their fee in the currency you are remitting from and exchange the rest and indicate the exact receivable amount.....and guarantee that amount/rate for the next 24 hours.

You have however identified where it needs some calculation...if there is a need to 'receive' an exact amount (say for a purchase)... the remitted sum needs to be calculated backwards to include the fee and forex rate.

I've been busy tx/ex over the holidays to family and there was some, but not too much, delay. This week I sent GBP from UK to my IDR Jakarta account on Monday and received on Tuesday.
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Old Jan 12th 2018, 5:02 am   #11
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Default Re: Money transfers to Thailand from HSBC (UK) - slower and error

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Originally Posted by Davita View Post
I'm happy you have found a solution...I was going to respond to your earlier post as it did appear you had misunderstood TransferWise method but I see you do understand.
It is simplicity itself...they just deduct their fee in the currency you are remitting from and exchange the rest and indicate the exact receivable amount.....and guarantee that amount/rate for the next 24 hours.

You have however identified where it needs some calculation...if there is a need to 'receive' an exact amount (say for a purchase)... the remitted sum needs to be calculated backwards to include the fee and forex rate.

I've been busy tx/ex over the holidays to family and there was some, but not too much, delay. This week I sent GBP from UK to my IDR Jakarta account on Monday and received on Tuesday.
Thanks. I intend to switch to using them from now on.

In all honesty I'd probably rarely need to bother with the back calculation, just a rough guesstimate (+ a little for error ) of what I need and transfer it. I did it in this case just to compare (as precisely as I could) the costs of using TW vs HSBC. Glad I did as when I did the initial comparison last month (failed to click the dropdown to see how the charges ware factored in) I failed to notice that their fee was a sum that had already been deducted from your remittance, and was thus catered for within the estimate of the converted amount you'd receive, and wrongly calculated that the TW fee would need to be added to the sum remitted as well. If that makes sense

The savings on the transfer amounts I detailed above would alone make it more than worthwhile to switch in the long run as they would certainly add up over the course of a year! That is enough in itself to justify switching to using TW, an even bigger incentive for me though is removing ANY possibility of HSBC changing what they are doing again and suddenly finding a £2-3,000 transfer getting hit with a circa £200 intermediary fee. I read somewhere, may have even been here, of someone getting hit for around a £300 fee on a similar amount. Definitely worth eliminating the risk of THAT happening.
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Old Jan 12th 2018, 6:32 am   #12
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Default Re: Money transfers to Thailand from HSBC (UK) - slower and error

I just did another dummy run to TX/EX GBP3,000 to THB.
The total fee = GBP17.90 so the amount exchanged will be GBP 2,982.10 and the rate = THB43.29544 and the amount received would be THB129,111.33 by Monday.

It could be that the intermediary rate you refer is a charge by both the sending and receiving banks.
It may be that some banks will still make a charge on your account for receiving from TW...I'd check on that as it's out of TW control.
My HSBC Premium doesn't charge me anything but HSBC have financial FD requirements to be a Premium member.
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Old Jan 12th 2018, 10:02 am   #13
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Default Re: Money transfers to Thailand from HSBC (UK) - slower and error

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Originally Posted by Davita View Post
I just did another dummy run to TX/EX GBP3,000 to THB.
The total fee = GBP17.90 so the amount exchanged will be GBP 2,982.10 and the rate = THB43.29544 and the amount received would be THB129,111.33 by Monday.

It could be that the intermediary rate you refer is a charge by both the sending and receiving banks.
It may be that some banks will still make a charge on your account for receiving from TW...I'd check on that as it's out of TW control.
My HSBC Premium doesn't charge me anything but HSBC have financial FD requirements to be a Premium member.

No, it's confirmed it IS a charge by HSBC for using an intermediary. To clarify:

1) I am Premier member.

2) I have done literally hundreds of GBP transfers from the same HSBC UK account to the same Thai account over several years and have never been hit for any charges other than the flat £4 fee.

3) Within the last 2-3 months several stories have been appearing on Thai forums with HSBC customers getting hit for intermediary charges to Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial and now Kasikorn.

4) The consensus, gleaned mostly from HSBC responses, news articles and information from the Thai banks concerned is that HSBC has changed it's 'relationship' with at least some banks in Thailand resulting in intermediary charges now hitting some, and in some cases every, transaction that customers do involving GBP transfers to Thai banks. One ex-senior HSBC manager living in the area has been attempting to get to the bottom of it all for some time.

5) There is, in most cases, no guarantee that you will or will not get charged.

6) I have now had these charges on two transfers within the last month, in both cases, the funds arriving in the Thai banks being short.

7) I have equally had one transaction, in between the two at 6) arrive without being hit.

8) The only common factor with the two transfers that were hit at 6) is that they were newly set up payees using a new BIC for the Thai bank HQ.

8) The Thai audit trail shows clearly no charges being applied within Thailand.

9) HSBC are not being forthcoming at all in relation to their use of an intermediary in these two cases merely suggesting that is the likely cause by saying "well you sign up for the T&C when you do the transfer". They have made no apparent attempt to track the payments or conduct anything by way of meaningful investigation.

10) I have complained to the Banking Ombudsman about the lack of transparency and the lack of any readily accessible audit trail for customers in addition to the very lame response from HSBC.

So no, it's a HSBC charge and there is a reported change in the way HSBC handles some transfers from HSBC to Thailand now resulting, in some cases, with being hit for intermediary bank charges above the £4 flat fee, Premier customer or not, whereas up until a few months ago they never were.

Hence my saying that using HSBC to transfer GBP to Thailand, Premier customer or not, is now like playing Russian Roulette as, until there is some clarification from HSBC (likely never) you can never be certain that you will not get hit for these intermediary charges which seem to come in at around the 10% mark with some folks getting stung for considerable sums. They were just as shocked as I was the first time it happened to them too, I was luckier in that my experience was with a small amount so have been stung a lot less harder than others.
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Old Jan 12th 2018, 1:07 pm   #14
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Default Re: Money transfers to Thailand from HSBC (UK) - slower and error

I can hear your frustration Atilla but...

1. As a Premier member with HSBC there is NO transfer fee between HSBC accounts using online transactions.

All banks have a fee for any transactions between banks...that's how they make money.

Thailand may be, according to banking insurance, not a stable country for banking and banks may wish to want to reduce their liability or increase their fees to cover extra bank insurance....just a thought.

I've HSBC accounts in UK since it was the Midland Bank; Hong Kong (since 1974); Canada; Kuala Lumpur (recently closed due MM2H) and now Indonesia....I have found them to be excellent and helped me to be fairly wealthy, overtime, by using their products and financial resources.

It isn't unusual to receive stuff from banks which isn't their domain but, due to governmental financial services acts of different countries, they are mandated to comply. Obviously banks don't want to send all that shit out to customers. This has to do with criminal activity so blaming the bank is a pedestrian attitude.
Banks are not governments nor secret service nor police forces ...they are private companies whose product is a financial service and are attentive to their investors and customers ...and the bottom line to make profit.

BTW, in case anyone believes I'm biased I have no connection to banking...I was in the airline industry and I'm over 80 years old.
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Old Jan 12th 2018, 1:39 pm   #15
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Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Malaysia / Thailand
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Default Re: Money transfers to Thailand from HSBC (UK) - slower and error

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davita View Post
I can hear your frustration Atilla but...

1. As a Premier member with HSBC there is NO transfer fee between HSBC accounts using online transactions.

All banks have a fee for any transactions between banks...that's how they make money.

Thailand may be, according to banking insurance, not a stable country for banking and banks may wish to want to reduce their liability or increase their fees to cover extra bank insurance....just a thought.

I've HSBC accounts in UK since it was the Midland Bank; Hong Kong (since 1974); Canada; Kuala Lumpur (recently closed due MM2H) and now Indonesia....I have found them to be excellent and helped me to be fairly wealthy, overtime, by using their products and financial resources.

It isn't unusual to receive stuff from banks which isn't their domain but, due to governmental financial services acts of different countries, they are mandated to comply. Obviously banks don't want to send all that shit out to customers. This has to do with criminal activity so blaming the bank is a pedestrian attitude.
Banks are not governments nor secret service nor police forces ...they are private companies whose product is a financial service and are attentive to their investors and customers ...and the bottom line to make profit.

BTW, in case anyone believes I'm biased I have no connection to banking...I was in the airline industry and I'm over 80 years old.
Sorry, but I disagree. Not going to labour the point longer as it's going round and round in circles.

Your first point is totally irrelevant in this scenario. HSBC has no presence / bank in Thailand and hasn't since they pulled out of their retail operation in Thailand around 2011/12 so as a Premier customer there will be a charge of £4 each and every time you wish to do a transfer. If you are transferring between other HSBC accounts in other countries of course there will be no charges but that is not the topic of this thread. At no point has transferring funds between HSBC accounts EVER been the topic of this thread.

The simple fact is HSBC has changed it's business arrangements with several banks here in recent months in a way which now means that many of its customers are now getting hit for charges for using intermediary banks in some cases where they weren't before. HSBC has not handled the changes well and it is causing a lot of problems.

I'm not interested in a debate about banks being businesses or the regulations with which they need to comply, or their needing to make money, anyone but a complete idiot would understand that already. The point here is recently introduced changes (e.g. within the last 2-3 months) that are resulting in some fairly exorbitant intermediary charges for HSBC customers transferring GBP to Thailand with HSBC being unable, or rather unwilling, to provide an open and transparent audit trail for. Those charges, unlike the £4 transfer fee are not disclosed anywhere and nor are they visible to the customer.

I am quite happy for banks to operate as businesses and charge for their services, it is however not unreasonable to expect them to be open and transparent about the charges that will be incurred and for the details of those charges to be visible.

The other point of this thread is to alert HSBC customers who may need to make transfers to Thailand that this is now happening so that they may consider other means of making the transfers should they wish to do so, not to enter into some theoretical debate about the banking business or indeed how wonderful HSBC may have been to other customers in the past. I too thought that the threads I had read about this recent problem were just indicative of a few 'one-offs' and thought well it's never happened to me and unlikely that it will. Wrong. Anyone doubting the fact that it is a recent problem that has just reared its head with HSBC / Thai banks can easily search for the references to it which also indicate that these extra intermediary charges has not hitherto been the norm.

Transfers between HSBC accounts and indeed countries other than Thailand is totally irrelevant here.
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