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HSBC Safeguard - intrusive questions

HSBC Safeguard - intrusive questions

Old Jan 14th 2021, 4:45 am
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Unhappy HSBC Safeguard - intrusive questions

Its been a year and a half since i moved to KSA with family. Around February last year HSBC made the first contact to go through the 'safeguard' process. Apparently it is to protect us (bla bla). However the amount and more importantly level of info they requested kind of surprised i.e. not only they are interested in source of income but how much i am earning, which bank i am banking with in KSA, who my employer is etc. I found this very intrusive and parked the call at the time. Due to covid and all it went quiet for a bit but they have started there threatening letters (account restriction and eventually close etc.) again in December 2020.

I only bank with HSBC in the UK so currently don't have a choice to say goodbye to them (i would love to). That said, I have nothing to hide, its just that it seems they are trying to collect way more info that i am used to sharing with anyone let alone with a bank/third person, more so the info which should be none of their concern.

Has any expat experienced this with their UK banks?
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Old Jan 14th 2021, 6:57 am
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Default Re: HSBC Safeguard - intrusive questions

Originally Posted by Tahir84 View Post
Its been a year and a half since i moved to KSA with family. Around February last year HSBC made the first contact to go through the 'safeguard' process. Apparently it is to protect us (bla bla). However the amount and more importantly level of info they requested kind of surprised i.e. not only they are interested in source of income but how much i am earning, which bank i am banking with in KSA, who my employer is etc. I found this very intrusive and parked the call at the time. Due to covid and all it went quiet for a bit but they have started there threatening letters (account restriction and eventually close etc.) again in December 2020.

I only bank with HSBC in the UK so currently don't have a choice to say goodbye to them (i would love to). That said, I have nothing to hide, its just that it seems they are trying to collect way more info that i am used to sharing with anyone let alone with a bank/third person, more so the info which should be none of their concern.

Has any expat experienced this with their UK banks?
Most banks are going to request source of income if it's being transferred from abroad and various other income details. I'm sure you can look up with the UK financial regulator what level of detail is statutorily required or the terms and conditions of your HSBC account and then answer accordingly. If you have loans they are quite entitled to verify these things.
Ironic for HSBC with it's chequered history to be so compliant these days.
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Old Jan 14th 2021, 8:51 am
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Default Re: HSBC Safeguard - intrusive questions

OP,
Worth remembering that most UK bank accounts t&c's clearly state that they are only for UK/EU residents, though in reality most turn a blind eye to non UK based customers if you keep quiet. But in your case, since HSBC UK already know you're in KSA then don't be surprised if they decide to close your account one day out of the blue. My suggestion would be to open another UK bank account if you can (eg if you still have a UK address), First Direct or Nationwide are banks/BS I highly recommend. I've been with First Direct since 1997, had nearly all of my foreign income come into my FD current account (most of my overseas jobs have been on a rotational basis) and never heard a peep from them wrt explanining source of funds.
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Old Jan 14th 2021, 9:46 am
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Default Re: HSBC Safeguard - intrusive questions

Originally Posted by psychopomp1 View Post
OP,
Worth remembering that most UK bank accounts t&c's clearly state that they are only for UK/EU residents, though in reality most turn a blind eye to non UK based customers if you keep quiet. But in your case, since HSBC UK already know you're in KSA then don't be surprised if they decide to close your account one day out of the blue. My suggestion would be to open another UK bank account if you can (eg if you still have a UK address), First Direct or Nationwide are banks/BS I highly recommend. I've been with First Direct since 1997, had nearly all of my foreign income come into my FD current account (most of my overseas jobs have been on a rotational basis) and never heard a peep from them wrt explanining source of funds.
Thank you for the suggestions. I had to change the address as i was only renting in the UK etc. I would now like to open another bank account however not sure how would that be possible with not being a UK resident for a foreseeable future.
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Old Jan 14th 2021, 1:22 pm
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Default Re: HSBC Safeguard - intrusive questions

Originally Posted by Tahir84 View Post
Thank you for the suggestions. I had to change the address as i was only renting in the UK etc. I would now like to open another bank account however not sure how would that be possible with not being a UK resident for a foreseeable future.
1. Never close bank accounts as they are getting hard to open
2. Open an offshore one.

I just had my offshore one frozen for two months due to a KYC check that I had ignored.
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Old Jan 14th 2021, 2:15 pm
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Default Re: HSBC Safeguard - intrusive questions

Originally Posted by Tahir84 View Post
Thank you for the suggestions. I had to change the address as i was only renting in the UK etc. I would now like to open another bank account however not sure how would that be possible with not being a UK resident for a foreseeable future.
Can’t you open a new bank account giving the same UK address to where your HSBC account is registered to? I assume that’s a trusted friend/relatives address? HSBC will be reporting that address to the CRAs so ideally you should be using that, as a credit check will almost certainly be carried out for any new current account application(s).
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Old Jan 18th 2021, 6:45 pm
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Default Re: HSBC Safeguard - intrusive questions

Originally Posted by psychopomp1 View Post
OP,
Worth remembering that most UK bank accounts t&c's clearly state that they are only for UK/EU residents, though in reality most turn a blind eye to non UK based customers if you keep quiet. But in your case, since HSBC UK already know you're in KSA then don't be surprised if they decide to close your account one day out of the blue. My suggestion would be to open another UK bank account if you can (eg if you still have a UK address), First Direct or Nationwide are banks/BS I highly recommend. I've been with First Direct since 1997, had nearly all of my foreign income come into my FD current account (most of my overseas jobs have been on a rotational basis) and never heard a peep from them wrt explanining source of funds.
First Direct is part of HSBC so would likely share info for a new application.
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