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Opening HSBC Canadian Bank Account from UK

Opening HSBC Canadian Bank Account from UK

Old Apr 28th 2011, 1:43 pm
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Default Opening HSBC Canadian Bank Account from UK

I have a HSBC premier account, which allows me to create a free Canadian HSBC account from the UK, however when I attempted to fill out the application I was told that the exchange rate was not as good as that given at the cash machine (using my UK debit card). Has anybody opened an account this way, and provide any information on the difference in the exchange rates?

I was also considering setting up the account anyway and then use a company like HiFX if there exchange rates are more favourable.
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Old Apr 28th 2011, 2:04 pm
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Default Re: Opening HSBC Canadian Bank Account from UK

Hi smjazz

We (only) have an HSBC Advanced account and just applied for an account in Canada. Apparently this will take around 4 weeks and we should have it before we move to Canada mid June.

Good thing is, you can take your credit history with you, therefore have it a bit easier in Canada in the beginning.

As HSBC Premier accounts go, money transfer between accounts incl international are free, so are ATM, debit card and cash withdrawals. On these you usually get the "average exchange rate", which is always better than the "cash" exchange rate. You can look up current exchange rates at HSBC website. Withdrawing money with an ATM card always gives you a better exchange rate than exchanging notes/cash. Assumed no withdrawal fee is charged.

Hope this helps!
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Old Apr 28th 2011, 2:22 pm
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Default Re: Opening HSBC Canadian Bank Account from UK

Originally Posted by smjazz View Post
I have a HSBC premier account, which allows me to create a free Canadian HSBC account from the UK, however when I attempted to fill out the application I was told that the exchange rate was not as good as that given at the cash machine (using my UK debit card). Has anybody opened an account this way, and provide any information on the difference in the exchange rates?

I was also considering setting up the account anyway and then use a company like HiFX if there exchange rates are more favourable.
Once you have your UK and Canadian accounts, you can join them up in the online view and then transfer money between them. The exchange rates are pretty good though (usually within 0.25% of the spot price quoted on Bloomberg) so I'm not sure about the ATM rate being better than that. The ATM rate will be way better than you'll be charged by a bureau de change though, they often have spreads of 10%.
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Old Apr 28th 2011, 2:27 pm
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Default Re: Opening HSBC Canadian Bank Account from UK

Originally Posted by dgagitw View Post
Once you have your UK and Canadian accounts, you can join them up in the online view and then transfer money between them. The exchange rates are pretty good though (usually within 0.25% of the spot price quoted on Bloomberg) so I'm not sure about the ATM rate being better than that. The ATM rate will be way better than you'll be charged by a bureau de change though, they often have spreads of 10%.
Is it me or is there only 1 HSBC branch in downtown toronto, located in chinatown, they have 0 ATM machines away from the branch also.

If your landing in TO downtown your going to want to get another account also, a local branch with alot of ATM's as it costs money to withdrawl $ from a competitor atm here.

Last edited by chriscanada; Apr 28th 2011 at 2:31 pm.
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Old Apr 28th 2011, 2:45 pm
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Default Re: Opening HSBC Canadian Bank Account from UK

Hi

We have been in Canada for nearly 6 months and we did the whole HSBC Canadian account before arriving.

Yes it takes a few weeks but you will get everything before you land. They will provide debit cards (interac) and cheque books (used more here than you think) and credit cards (if you have a applied for one). The credit card (we were told) was only available once you had a Canadian address but other posters on here have had them issued without a Canadian address.

The number of HSBC branch locations are very low when compared to other banks. But you can use any Interac ATM and HSBC will refund you the fee (normally $1.50).

The international money transfer rate when using online banking IMHO can be better than some of the money transfer companies. There is a £5 charge, you might get a "free period" when you take out the account. We got 6 months.

For an Advanced account you get the account fee-free for 12 months then you must maintain a balance of $25,000 or you get charged $25 per month as an account fee.

Most other Banks have an account fee but there are more accounts appearing that are fee-free or require your principle salary to be paid into an account to maintain fee-free.

The credit score transfer sounds better than it really is. It is only a HSBC thing, the bank can not directly influence the general credit score system in Canada. What I am trying to say is it is only applicable for HSBC products. You will/could still struggle with credit checks for things like mobile phone contracts etc and credit on other things but researching which companies are best for new immigrants will help.
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Old Apr 28th 2011, 6:14 pm
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Default Re: Opening HSBC Canadian Bank Account from UK

Originally Posted by dgagitw View Post
usually within 0.25% of the spot price quoted on Bloomberg
Is this 0.25% accurate? Are you talking about a large amount like 400K?

HiFX gave me 0.5%. Moneycorp gave me less than 0.5%, so as No. 1 Currency. OANDA has the best rate (10 pip spread), that is less than 0.1%, but they charge £15 per transaction. Also, you cannot order a rate you want before your money go to the OANDA account.

Has anybody used OANDA?
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Old Apr 28th 2011, 6:21 pm
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Default Re: Opening HSBC Canadian Bank Account from UK

Originally Posted by chriscanada View Post
Is it me or is there only 1 HSBC branch in downtown toronto, located in chinatown, they have 0 ATM machines away from the branch also.

If your landing in TO downtown your going to want to get another account also, a local branch with alot of ATM's as it costs money to withdrawl $ from a competitor atm here.
There's a few branches (e.g. one at York and King and another at Yonge and Eglington). If you have a premier account with them they refund the access charges for other bank's ATMs so withdrawals are, in fact, free. (That is, your statement will show -101.5 followed by +1.50 a day or so later).
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Old Apr 28th 2011, 6:25 pm
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Default Re: Opening HSBC Canadian Bank Account from UK

Originally Posted by davidsk View Post
Is this 0.25% accurate? Are you talking about a large amount like 400K?

HiFX gave me 0.5%. Moneycorp gave me less than 0.5%, so as No. 1 Currency. OANDA has the best rate (10 pip spread), that is less than 0.1%, but they charge £15 per transaction. Also, you cannot order a rate you want before your money go to the OANDA account.

Has anybody used OANDA?
Give or take, yes, their spread is around 50bps (i.e. 25bps either side of the headline mid spot rate from BB, Reuters and others). The same rates seem to apply to all sizes of transfer between premier accounts in different countries. There isn't a specific transaction charge. There's definitely cheaper specialist companies but I'd always worry about credit risk when using them since most of them co-mingle clients money with their own (e.g. Caxton FX).
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Old Apr 28th 2011, 10:28 pm
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Default Re: Opening HSBC Canadian Bank Account from UK

Originally Posted by smjazz View Post
I have a HSBC premier account, which allows me to create a free Canadian HSBC account from the UK, however when I attempted to fill out the application I was told that the exchange rate was not as good as that given at the cash machine (using my UK debit card). Has anybody opened an account this way, and provide any information on the difference in the exchange rates?

I was also considering setting up the account anyway and then use a company like HiFX if there exchange rates are more favourable.
Speak to your branch if your are transferring large amounts, the exchange rates are negotiable. Always remember, when using foreign exchange companies, your money is not protected as it is with banks.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/mon...cle6869218.ece
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