“I've been a long standing customer of HSBC bank and generally happy with it until yesterday.
To begin with, I went on a work-related trip abroad in mid-March and got stuck there due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions. In May I have contracted the virus and still am recovering, being quarantined in Moscow without any perspective to return home until mid-June in a best case scenario.
One of my HSBC accounts is a joined one, which I use alone since divorced the other person on the account months ago. Normally, I was transferring the Child Maintenance money from this account to her and then moving the remaining amount to my personal account.
On the payday I transferred the money to the joined account as usual, but then realised that I can't make any transactions from it. All my money for the month are blocked. Having called the customer support line, I was advised that the bank has some 'security concerns' over my address since they sent me some correspondence I did not respond to.
For over 40 min on an international call I was trying to explain the situation to an agent with a distinctive accent, but only heard something about 'policies' and was advised to send proof of address by post and also have my ex on the phone with me while on call. Explaining that neither is currently feasible did not convince the helpful HSBC customer service agent and I asked to connect me with the manager. After 10 minutes wait I was cut off.
Called again, this time they kept me on the line for about an hour but with the same outcome.
As a result, I am stuck abroad deprived of access to my money because the bank cannot confirm my address which is ridiculous on its own since they confirmed my identity, my son can't get the maintenance money and naturally I have other financial obligations to serve. Not sure how I am going to get out of this one with financial shortage only being part of the problem.
Are these people totally void of any common sense and care for the customer these days? Those procedures they have may normally be reasonable, but the current situation with COVID-19 chaos where people are stranded abroad, cannot leave their homes or experiencing serious health issues, requires to look at each case based on individual circumstances if they want to retain their customer base.
Or is it a some kind of weird way of getting hold of money to make them work for the bank while the customer is denied access to them?
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Alice, Customer Support
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