HSBC: the world’s local bank?

I popped into my local, London branch of HSBC yesterday to withdraw some money from my HSBC dollar account – more money than the cashpoint was willing to give me, but not a crazy amount, and an amount that my balance could certainly afford.

The transaction that the teller attempted was declined, and they could not give me a reason why. I asked them to speak to their colleagues in the States to get to the bottom of the problem, but that wasn’t in their remit. Instead, I was directed to speak to the HSBC US silo to identify what the problem might be.

I kindly referred the teller to the marketing material that we were surrounded by, which suggested that they were the world’s local bank. In essence, they were living up to their promise. A world full of local branches that can’t deal with things wider than their own remit. HSBC UK doesn’t do HSBC US, in the Trevor and Simon sense of the word.

In the end, I withdrew as much as the cashpoint would allow, and repeated the process the following day to get around their disappointingly insular ways. A very disappointing customer experience.

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