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Banking in Abu Dhabi - Help

Banking in Abu Dhabi - Help

Old Jun 29th 2014, 4:54 am
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Default Banking in Abu Dhabi - Help

Really grateful for opinions on their banking experiences in AD.
I'm torn between the HSBC, ADCB and the EmiratesNBD.
Could anyone share their thoughts on these, such as customer service, international money transfers, loan rates? I done the usual investigation into what their lovely websites tell me, I'm now after the nuts and bolts before I finally decide.
Help is much appreciated
Thanks
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Old Jul 1st 2014, 6:15 pm
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Default Re: Banking in Abu Dhabi - Help

Interesting advice. We've been told by my wife's company that we'll be basically taken to set up a bank account with ADCB as part of her induction, though we can choose HSBC if we wish.

Norm - and I'm aware you may well answer this on your blog, which is now bookmarked - is it better, then, to transfer money back to a UK account every few months? We're aiming to live on my wife's salary and save mine, so were thinking of transferring it back when we return in 2-3 years - but if drip-feeding is a better approach...
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Old Jul 1st 2014, 8:01 pm
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Default Re: Banking in Abu Dhabi - Help

it will depend on the exchange rates at the time, you are best if you can to try to minimise the amount of assets you have here, just in case you need to return quickly.
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Old Jul 2nd 2014, 5:30 am
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Default Re: Banking in Abu Dhabi - Help

Originally Posted by driftingaway
transfer money back to a UK account every few months? We're aiming to live on my wife's salary and save mine, so were thinking of transferring it back when we return in 2-3 years - but if drip-feeding is a better approach...
If only there was a crystal ball for this! I believe the general consensus is to send regularly, balancing out the exchange rate/risk. However it also comes down to the amount, Meow and Norm can both point you in the direction of good rates if you have larger amounts to transfer. If your particularly lucky, and you have large amounts and regularly, then you are in a win/win situation.
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Old Jul 2nd 2014, 2:01 pm
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Default Re: Banking in Abu Dhabi - Help

For what it is worth, I know a lot of people around here bash HSBC, but I've had no more problems with them (in 3 1/2 years) than my colleagues who bank with ADCB and NBAD have had - and both of those latter banks have really managed to completely screw up (big time) a few of my friends' accounts, so they are far from perfect either. One of the things I quite like about HSBC is the ability to keep AED currency in a Jersey account away from the grips of the local branch - so I never keep more than a basic amount here, but if I need to bring some more money back in (eg for a larger one-off payment such as school fees) it only takes a few seconds to transfer it back (no currency transfers required as it stays in AED throughout, no fees for the transfer). This reduces the impact of a local branch freezing your account.
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Old Jul 2nd 2014, 8:33 pm
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Default Re: Banking in Abu Dhabi - Help

Is the Jersey account the same as HSBC's UK offshore account - ie. you need a £25k initial deposit?
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Old Jul 3rd 2014, 6:38 am
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Default Re: Banking in Abu Dhabi - Help

Originally Posted by driftingaway
Is the Jersey account the same as HSBC's UK offshore account - ie. you need a £25k initial deposit?
Yes, its their offshore account (I think it is now called an "expat account"), but I definitely did not need a 25k initial deposit. Once I'd opened up my account here in the UAE, they then arranged to open up the account in Jersey (and I've got one there in each of AED, GBP and EUR). All the paperwork, ID checking etc was done at the AD branch. As long as one meets the premier requirements in one of the countries (I also have an HSBC account now in the UK) one can keep that going on all your accounts.

But to re-emphasise - I'm definitely not saying that HSBC here in AD are great, but from all my experiences and those of my colleagues, I don't think they are that much worse than the other main banks. All are pretty mediocre. I've only really had one or 2 problems with HSBC (direct debits being mysteriously cancelled), and they have always fixed them quickly when I've complained, and refunded penalties without needing to be asked. And while I have a premier account, a friend of mine has a bog-standard one and he has also had no problem - just needs to queue a bit longer sometimes.

The final advantage, to me at least, is when I need to exchange currency. I don't use HSBC to do this, instead Moneycorp, who normally give much better rates. As Moneycorp also bank with HSBC, it makes the transfer of money to them, and then back to me once its exchanged, a lot quicker and cheaper (free, actually).
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Old Jul 3rd 2014, 6:48 am
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Default Re: Banking in Abu Dhabi - Help

"New customers need to hold a minimum of £60,000 or currency equivalent in deposits and/or investments with us. "

https://www.expat.hsbc.com/1/2/!ut/p...goAgAQULH1A!!/
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Old Jul 3rd 2014, 6:50 am
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Default Re: Banking in Abu Dhabi - Help

To get a premier account out here:
a. Maintaining a minimum monthly average balance of AED350,000 in deposits and/or investments
or
b. Monthly net salary transfer of AED50,000 or above for the first 12 months after which point (a) applies.**
or
c. Mortgage drawdown of AED3,000,000 or above for the first 24 months after which point (a) applies***

To get it in UK:
HSBC Premier is available to you, as long as you pay your annual income into your HSBC Premier Bank Account and either:

1) Have savings or investments of at least £50,000 with HSBC in the UK; or
2) have an individual annual income of at least £100,000 and one of the following products with HSBC in the UK:

- a mortgage;
- an investment, life insurance or protection product;

Or, qualify for HSBC Premier in another country.

Last edited by mikewot; Jul 3rd 2014 at 7:35 am. Reason: Added UK requirements
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Old Jul 3rd 2014, 6:51 am
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Default Re: Banking in Abu Dhabi - Help

Originally Posted by shiraz1
"New customers need to hold a minimum of £60,000 or currency equivalent in deposits and/or investments with us. "

https://www.expat.hsbc.com/1/2/!ut/p...goAgAQULH1A!!/
"If you are already an HSBC Premier customer and hold Premier accounts with other parts of the HSBC group, you will receive the Premier service with us, without the need to maintain the minimum £60,000 Relationship Balance"

Same page... Need to carry on reading.
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Old Jul 3rd 2014, 6:54 am
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Default Re: Banking in Abu Dhabi - Help

Separate things, new customers and existing Premier Account holders.

Anyone use ADCB offshore?
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Old Jul 3rd 2014, 11:57 am
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Default Re: Banking in Abu Dhabi - Help

Originally Posted by archie159
I'm definitely not saying that HSBC here in AD are great, but from all my experiences and those of my colleagues, I don't think they are that much worse than the other main banks..
I held a similar view for 4 years with them. On the 12th June I had to order a replacement debit card as mine was damaged. I'm still waiting for it to arrive!
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Old Jul 3rd 2014, 12:00 pm
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Default Re: Banking in Abu Dhabi - Help

Originally Posted by Brains1983
On the 12th June I had to order a replacement debit card as mine was damaged. I'm still waiting for it to arrive!
Wednesday last week (at around 1500) I ordered a replacement credit card. On Saturday I got a text from DHLExpress to arrange delivery, received it on Sunday at 11am.
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Old Jul 3rd 2014, 12:55 pm
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Default Re: Banking in Abu Dhabi - Help

Originally Posted by mikewot
Wednesday last week (at around 1500) I ordered a replacement credit card. On Saturday I got a text from DHLExpress to arrange delivery, received it on Sunday at 11am.
I also had a damaged ADCB credit card, ordered a replacement 10mins after I made the call to HSBC, it was received on the Monday.
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