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Lloyds TSB International or HSBC Premier??

Lloyds TSB International or HSBC Premier??

Old Jan 26th 2011, 12:46 pm
  #1  
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Default Lloyds TSB International or HSBC Premier??

I am planning to start looking at countries to live soon with Malaysia and Panama being top of the list. I am not looking at which is the best of the international options as I do intend to keep at least one account in the UK. I'm also looking for one account (for now) to consolidate savings into so it will be easier (e.g. just one statement and letter) to prove the liquid assets for the Malaysia MM2H programme. Ultimately I will open a local account too, once I decide where to settle, but in the interim it will be useful to be able to both access and transfer money, preferably with little charge, as I travel around, maybe for months at a time testing out the different countries (e.g. Malaysia and Panama for starters).

At the moment I am with Lloyds TSB and being a long standing customer it's dead easy to open up an International with them and their criteria seem less stringent than with HSBC. I have a few accounts with LLoyds too with all bills and such like going out from the main current account so staying with Lloyds may be easier. I am a little concerned though in that Lloyds does not seem so visible internationally and while I understand HSBC has less ATMs etc in Malaysia than many banks there is a more more than Lloyds TSB I think? This was certainly the case in the UAE. Quite a few HSBC, no Lloyds in Abu Dhabi at all.

The other thing that concerns me is the international transfer charges. I've only started looking today at the various accounts but they both seem to charge for transfers and if that's the case what's the point of switching to these (for some people who don't meet the free criteria) premium fee accounts if it's no cheaper to send money out from the UK other than to access your cash on tour.

Any comments with regard to these two banks or indeed other options appreciated. I need to bear in mind that I'm not JUST visiting the Far East or Malaysia.
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Old Jan 29th 2011, 1:02 am
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Default Re: Lloyds TSB International or HSBC Premier??

HSBC operates in Malaysia. They have a couple of branches in Penang. Nothing like the number of ATMs as the Malaysian banks of course, but not too bad now. They have a reciprocal thing with Standard Chartered and I think another bank, so you can use those banks' ATMs too.

Of course, if you moved to Malaysia, nothing to stop you opening up another bank account like Maybank which has tons of ATMs, and shoving some cash across from HSBC to Maybank, so that you have easy access to cash machines.
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Old Jan 29th 2011, 5:36 am
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Default Re: Lloyds TSB International or HSBC Premier??

Thanks. I will eventually go with HSBC I think, no rush for now. Money is either in or being consolidated into Lloyds TSB at the moment with whom I have an account history. They have an International Premier account too so easy and no charge access to your money while you are travelling.

Only thing they don't have is the free transfers which would be more of an issue when I am living rather than just travelling there. I plan to maintain at least one UK account both for access to my job pension (not sure what arrangements there might be to get it paid to a Malaysian bank direct - not looked yet) and for whatever else I might need it for, including travel elsewhere.

Only thing that I did think about is that the level of funding you need to keep in HSBC savings accounts to qualify for a free Premier account is very high, money which may do better interest wise elsewhere. Most accounts are pretty poor just now though so I expect the % won't be high anywhere.
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